Industrial relations and social dialogue

Overtime in Europe: Regulation and practice

Report
Veröffentlicht
10 März 2022
pdf
Formate

Wichtigste Erkenntnisse

  • All Member States have a framework to set rules for maximum working time. In some countries, working overtime is viewed as a normal part of employees’ duties for which they are expected to make themselves available, while in others overtime is seen as exceptional, to be authorised only under specific circumstances.
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  • All Member States have a framework to set rules for maximum working time. In some countries, working overtime is viewed as a normal part of employees’ duties for which they are expected to make themselves available, while in others overtime is seen as exceptional, to be authorised only under specific circumstances.
  • Overtime and long working days have harmful effects on a worker’s physical and mental health and are illness risk factors with dose–response effects: the greater the exposure, the greater the risk. Overtime can also impact on employees’ working time preferences and work–life balance.
  • Healthcare, social work, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, transport and storage, construction, and education are the sectors consistently showing a high prevalence and/or extent of overtime. Men, workers aged 25–55 and workers with higher levels of education are more likely to report working overtime and to report longer overtime hours than others.
  • The COVID-19 crisis may have accentuated the associated risks, as workers were encouraged to work overtime to compensate for potential losses of productivity. With the growth of remote working following the pandemic, the way working hours are recorded is also changing and additional hours often constitute invisible ‘grey overtime’. Provisions for the right to disconnect being introduced in some countries will be an important way to address this challenge.
  • Although workers are usually compensated for overtime, unpaid overtime still seems to be pervasive in the EU, generally resulting from pressure exerted on workers. At the same time, discussions around unpaid overtime are taking place in large sectors in which social dialogue has an established role, such as metalwork, logistics and healthcare, as well as in specific areas such as the game development industry and the academic sphere.
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Zusammenfassung

Despite the well-known adverse effects of regular long working hours on workers’ health, well-being and performance, many workers in the EU continue to work beyond their normal hours. Part of this additional working time is classified as overtime. This report takes a comparative overview of how oRead more

Despite the well-known adverse effects of regular long working hours on workers’ health, well-being and performance, many workers in the EU continue to work beyond their normal hours. Part of this additional working time is classified as overtime. This report takes a comparative overview of how overtime is regulated in the EU Member States, Norway and the United Kingdom, including its definition, the limits on its use and the compensation received by workers for working extra hours. The report assesses the extent of the phenomenon using national-level data, delves into the factors that explain it, and examines the potential consequences for workers and firms. Finally, the report summarises the current debate on the topic, as uncompensated working hours, structural overtime and monitoring of working hours are currently some of the most discussed work-related issues across the EU.

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Formate

  • Bericht

    Anzahl Seiten: 
    56
    Referenznr.: 
    EF21025
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-2250-6
    Katalognr.: 
    TJ-07-22-072-EN-N
    DOI: 
    10.2806/095550
    Catalogue info

    Overtime in Europe: Regulation and practice

    Formate

    Zitieren Sie diese Veröffentlichung: 

    Eurofound (2022), Overtime in Europe: Regulation and practice, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

  • Tables and graphs

    The report contains the following lists of tables and figures.

    List of tables

    Table 1: Obligation to work overtime and right to refuse overtime work in the EU27, Norway and the UK

    Table 2: Working time and overtime limits, by country, EU27, Norway and the UK

    Table 3: Main characteristics of overtime compensation, by country, EU27, Norway and the UK

    Table 4: Groups precluded from overtime work or to whom specific restrictions apply, by country, EU27, Norway and the UK

    Table 5: Available data on overtime at national level, EU27, Norway and the UK

    Table 6: Average overtime hours per week in Germany in 2015, 2017 and 2019, by educational level

    List of figures

    Figure 1: Prevalence of overtime in the Netherlands in 2019, by age group (%)

    Figure 2: Prevalence of overtime in Spain in the last quarter of 2020, by age group (%)

    Figure 3: Prevalence of overtime among full-time employees in France in 2016, by age group (%)

    Figure 4: Prevalence of overtime in the Netherlands in 2019, by highest completed level of education (%)

    Figure 5: Prevalence of overtime in the Netherlands in 2019, by occupation (%)

    Figure 6: Feeling exhausted at the end of the working day and overtime work in Czechia in 2019 (%)

    Figure 7: Paid and unpaid overtime and time off in lieu among workers performing overtime in Denmark in 2017, by gender (%)

    Figure 8: Intensity of debate and discussion on overtime in the EU Member States, 2018–2020

Forschungsarbeiten, die vor dem Austritt des Vereinigten Königreichs aus der Europäischen Union am 31. Januar 2020 durchgeführt und anschließend veröffentlicht wurden, können Angaben zu den 28 EU-Mitgliedstaaten enthalten. Nach diesem Datum werden nur noch die 27 EU-Mitgliedstaaten (EU-28 ohne das Vereinigte Königreich) in den Forschungsarbeiten berücksichtigt, sofern nichts anderes angegeben ist.

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