Working time developments - 2005

Average collectively agreed weekly hours
Collectively agreed weekly hours by sector
 - Metalworking
 - Chemicals
 - Banking
 - Retail
 - Local government
 - Civil service
Statutory maximum working week and day
Actual weekly working hours
Annual leave
Annual working time
Overtime
Appendices

This review of the length of working time in 2004 and 2005 finds that average collectively agreed weekly working time in the European Union as a whole remained at around 38.6 hours - 0.6 hours shorter in the old EU15 (plus Norway), and 0.9 hours longer in the new Member States. Agreed normal annual working time averages around 1,750 hours - some 1,700 in the old EU15 (plus Norway) and 1,800 in the new Member States. Of six sectors examined, agreed weekly hours are highest in chemicals and retail, followed by metalworking and local government, the civil service and banking. Average collectively agreed paid annual leave entitlement stood at 25.5 days in 2005. The review also looks at statutory working time and leave limits, actual working hours and overtime.

This annual report (or update) provides an overview of the duration of working time - as set by collective agreements and legislation - in the European Union, Norway and two acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania) in 2005 (and 2004), based on contributions from the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) national centres.

Making international comparisons of the length of working time involves a number of problems. Comparable data are not collected in all countries, while particular difficulties include:

  • the existence of different ways of calculating working time, with annual, rather than weekly calculation increasingly common in some countries (TN0308101S);
  • the fact that working time reductions in some countries have been introduced through extra days off or cuts in annual hours, leaving the normal working week relatively unchanged;
  • the increasing use of schemes whereby weekly hours may vary considerably around an average over a reference period;
  • the treatment of part-time workers; and
  • the differing roles of collective bargaining and legislation, the latter having an impact on actual hours in some countries while acting only as a maximum ‘safety net’ in others.

Normal weekly working hours figures are also problematic when comparing working time between countries, as they do not take matters such as overtime or the length of annual and other forms of leave into account.

This report aims to provide some general data on the current situation and developments, while pointing out the pitfalls involved in comparisons. For reasons of space, and because the objective is not to provide a statistical guide, the update does not provide full definitions of how the figures are arrived at for each country, but merely calls attention to the problems. The figures provided should be treated with great caution, and the various notes and explanations read with care.


Average collectively agreed weekly hours

Collective bargaining plays a key role in determining the duration of working time in most of the countries considered here (though to a lesser extent in some of the new Member States that joined the EU in 2004 and acceding countries). However, the nature of this role differs widely between the countries, with various bargaining levels (intersectoral, sectoral, company etc) playing different parts, and bargaining coverage varying considerably (though averaging around three-quarters of the workforce in the EU15, and about four out of 10 in the new Member States). Moreover, the importance of bargaining differs greatly between sectors of the economy and groups of workers. The relationship between bargaining and legislative provisions on working time also varies between countries. Table 1 below sets out the average normal weekly working hours in 2005 for full-time workers as set by collective bargaining, across the whole economy, for the 28 countries examined.


Table 1: Average collectively agreed normal weekly hours, 2005
Country Weekly hours

Bulgaria

40.0

Estonia

40.0

Greece

40.0

Hungary

40.0

Latvia

40.0

Lithuania

40.0

Malta

40.0

Poland

40.0

Romania

40.0

Slovenia

40.0

Ireland

39.0

Luxembourg

39.0

Austria

38.8

Sweden

38.8

Slovakia

38.6

Spain

38.5

Portugal

38.3

Belgium

38.0

Cyprus

38.0

Czech Republic

38.0

Italy

38.0

Germany

37.7

Finland

37.5

Norway

37.5

UK

37.2

Denmark

37.0

Netherlands

37.0

France

35.0

All countries

38.6

Whole EU

38.6

EU15 and Norway

38.0

New Member States (2004)

39.5

Table 1 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 1.

Source: EIRO.

Table 1 gives information only for 2005 - in almost all cases agreed hours were identical to those in 2004. The overall average weekly hours for the ‘old’ EU15 Member States plus Norway remained virtually unchanged at 38.0 (the same figure for the EU15 alone). There were no changes detected between 2004 and 2005, with the exception of movements of 0.1 hours upwards in Germany (due to an increase in eastern Germany) and downwards in Portugal. The range of normal weekly agreed hours across the EU and Norway remained five hours - i.e. between 35 hours (France) and 40 hours (Greece). However, 14 countries have a normal working week of between 37 and 39 hours inclusive.

Looking at the seven-year period 1999-2005, average agreed normal weekly hours for the current EU and Norway have fallen slightly from 38.6 to 38.0 (a cut of around 1.6%). Average collectively agreed normal working time has essentially remained static in seven of the 16 countries (though there have been exceptions in specific sectors and companies), and has fallen by under an hour per week in three others. Reductions of an hour or more have occurred in Belgium (1.0 hours), Luxembourg (1.0 hours), Portugal (1.1 hours), Sweden (1.2 hours), the UK (1.2 hours) and, most notably (driven by legislation) France (4.0 hours). Working time reduction was generally not a prominent bargaining issue in the EU15 and Norway in 2005, with few agreed cuts reported (one exception being a minor fall in the average working time set by company agreements in Spain). In Greece (where hours remain relatively long), a shorter working week remained a central trade union demand, but the issue seemed to receive little attention elsewhere. By contrast, there was some extension of working time in several countries. This was the case in the Dutch retail and hotels/restaurants/catering sectors, while in Germany the bargaining parties in construction agreed to an extension of the standard working time from 39 to 40 hours, while at German Rail (Deutsche Bahn AG) agreed working time was extended by one hour from 38 to 39 hours. Overall, there was considerably more focus on working time flexibility, in legislative and bargaining terms, as, for example, in Austria and France, or in sectoral agreements signed in Danish banking or German printing.

Turning to the new Member States and candidate countries, it should first be noted that the active role of collective bargaining in setting normal weekly hours is relatively slight in many central and eastern European countries. Thus, in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, collective agreements either do not tend to deviate from the statutory normal hours (usually 40 hours) or do not deal with the issue at all. The average agreed weekly hours across the 10 new Member States stood at 39.5 in 2005 (as it had in both 2003 and 2004) - 1.5 hours (or 4%) higher than in the EU15 plus Norway. Adding Bulgaria and Romania raises the new Member State average very slightly to 39.6. In general, these countries still have a 40-hour normal week, with the exceptions of Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (the only country in this group to see a fall in 2004-5, by 0.1 hours) where agreed hours are around the current EU average. Working time reductions do not appear to be very high on the bargaining agenda at present, with a few exceptions, such as the Czech Republic, where many sectoral and company collective agreements are currently reducing the working week.

For the EU25 as a whole, the average agreed normal working week stood at 38.6 hours in 2005 (as it did in 2004) - 0.6 hours (1.6%) higher than the EU15 average.


Collectively agreed weekly hours by sector

The figures below show the average normal weekly working hours for full-time workers as set by collective bargaining in six sectors selected to represent manufacturing industry (metalworking and chemicals), services (banking and retail) and the public sector (local government and the central civil service). While these more specific figures are probably more accurate than the overall average figures given in the previous section, extreme caution is again advised in their use, and the notes under each figure should be read carefully - all the caveats which are noted above also apply to the sectoral statistics.

Comparing the six sectors, in 2004 the highest average collectively agreed weekly hours in the EU15 and Norway were found in chemicals, at 38.3 hours, and the lowest in banking, at 37.0 hours. Retail hours were second longest, at 38.1 hours - slightly above the overall whole-economy average (38.0 hours). The other three sectors were below average - metalworking (37.8 hours), local government (37.5) and the civil service (37.1). Since EIRO started collecting data in 1999 (for metalworking, banking and local government) or 2000 (for chemicals, retail and the civil service), average weekly hours had fallen by 0.6 hours (a cut of 1.6%) in metalworking, banking and the civil service, 0.4 hours in local government (-1.1%), 0.2 hours (-0.5%) in retail and 0.1 hours (-0.3%) in chemicals. In all sectors, the fall in the average since 1999 or 2000 has largely been due to reductions in a few countries (e.g. France introducing its 35-hour week during this period), with the situation in many countries remaining static

With regard to the new Member States, average agreed weekly hours are above the EU15/Norway average in all sectors, though the weekly figures in individual countries are often no higher than those found in some of the old Member States with longer hours. The difference between the average figures for the EU15/Norway and the new Member States is narrowest in chemicals (0.7 hours) and metalworking (1.1 hours) and widest in banking and the civil service (2.3 hours). There are some differences between the old and new Member States in terms of the relative rankings of sectors - for example, chemicals is a comparatively high-hours sector in the EU15 and a comparatively low-hours sector in the new Member States, while the opposite is true of the civil service.

Looking at the whole expanded EU, the ranking of the six sectors is broadly similar to that in theEU15, with the longest average hours in chemicals and retail (both 38.6 hours), followed by metalworking and local government (38.1), the civil service (37.9) and banking (37.7).

It is notable that in some countries average agreed weekly hours do not vary across the six sectors examined or indeed the whole economy. A uniform 40-hour working week (usually also the statutory normal week - see next section) applies in many of the new Member States and acceding countries - this is the case in Bulgaria, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, and probably also in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, though fewer data are available in these cases. A similar uniformity applies, though at a lower figure, in Denmark (37 hours), France (35), Ireland (39) and Norway (37.5). There is relatively little variation (with none of the six sectors examined differing from the national average by more than two hours) in Cyprus, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Austria, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the UK, but wider differences in Germany, Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Metalworking

Table 2 below shows collectively agreed normal weekly hours in metalworking (based on the relevant sectoral collective agreements, except where specified otherwise in the notes for the figure). No data are available for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (collective bargaining generally plays little or no role in setting normal working hours in metalworking in these countries), while the sector as such does not exist in Malta. The table provides data only for 2005, reflecting the fact that there was virtually no change from the 2004 figure in most countries, with the exception of a one-hour fall in eastern Germany and smaller reductions in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Slovakia.

In the EU15 and Norway, the average agreed weekly hours in metalworking stood at 37.8 hours in 2004 - a fall of 0.6 hours from the figure in 1999, when EIRO first surveyed this issue. This is largely due to substantial cuts in working time in France, Finland and Belgium, with relative stability in most countries over the seven-year period (with some variations possibly explained by the fact that the data sources used for the EIRO figures have changed in some countries over the years).

In 2005, in the EU15 and Norway, the longest weekly hours in metalworking (40) were found in Greece, Portugal and Sweden (though the Swedish figure is likely to be lower in practice, due to various working time reduction methods) and the shortest in France and Germany (35). The range, at five hours, is identical to that found for overall average weekly hours across the whole economy. Working hours in metalworking are notably higher than the national whole-economy average in Portugal, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands (though working-time reduction schemes not affecting basic weekly hours apply in some of these cases) and notably lower in Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. Overall, the average agreed working week in metalworking, at 37.8 hours, is 0.2 hours above the overall whole-economy average.

Turning to the new Member States, data are available for six countries, with average weekly hours in metalworking standing at 38.9 hours in 2005 - 1.1 hours above the EU15/Norway average. Average weekly hours in Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are around the average figure for the EU15, while they stand at 40 hours (i.e. 2.2 hours higher than the EU15 average) in the three other new Member States, as they do in Bulgaria and Romania. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, weekly hours in metalworking are somewhat below the whole-economy average, while in the other countries they are the same as this average.

Considering all the countries of the expanded EU for which figures are available, average weekly hours in metalworking stood at 38.1 in 2005, half an hour shorter than the whole-economy average, and 0.3 hours longer than in metalworking in the EU15 only.


Table 2: Collectively agreed normal weekly hours in metalworking, 2005
Country Weekly hours

Bulgaria

40.0

Greece

40.0

Hungary

40.0

Poland

40.0

Portugal

40.0

Romania

40.0

Slovenia

40.0

Sweden

40.0

Italy

39.2

Ireland

39.0

Austria

38.5

Cyprus

38.0

Luxembourg

38.0

Netherlands

38.0

Czech Republic

37.8

Spain

37.6

Norway

37.5

Slovakia

37.5

UK

37.4

Denmark

37.0

Finland

36.6

Belgium

36.0

France

35.0

Germany

35.0

All countries

38.3

Whole EU

38.1

EU15 and Norway

37.8

New Member States (2004)

38.9

Table 2 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 2.

Notes on averages: ‘all countries’ is for 24 countries; ‘whole EU’ is for 21 countries; ‘new Member States’ is for six countries.

Source: EIRO.

Chemicals

Table 3 below shows collectively agreed normal weekly hours in chemicals (based on the relevant sectoral collective agreements, except where specified otherwise in the notes under the figure). No data are available for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (collective bargaining generally plays little or no role in setting normal working hours in chemicals in these countries). The table provides data only for 2005, as there was virtually no change from the 2004 figure in all countries, with the exception of a small fall in Slovakia.

In the EU15 and Norway, the average agreed weekly hours in chemicals stood at 38.3 hours in 2004 - a fall of only 0.1 hours since 2000, the first year for which EIRO collected data on this sector. There has been a noticeable reduction in Finland and Luxembourg over the six-year period and some relatively minor upward and downward movements in a few other countries (though the data sources used for the EIRO figures have changed in some countries over the years).

In 2005 in the EU15 and Norway, the longest weekly hours in chemicals (40) were found in Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden (though the Swedish figure is likely to be lower in practice, due to various working time reduction methods) and the shortest in France (35). The range, at five hours, is identical to that found for overall average weekly hours across the whole economy. Working hours in chemicals are markedly higher than the national whole-economy average in the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy and Sweden, and notably lower in Austria and Finland, Overall, the average agreed working week in chemicals, at 38.3 hours, is 0.3 hours above the overall average.

With regard to the new Member States, data are available for seven countries, with average weekly hours in chemicals standing at 39.0 hours in 2005 - 0.7 hours above the EU15/Norway average. Average weekly hours in Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are below the average figure for the EU15, while they stand at 40 hours (i.e. 1.5 hours higher than the EU15 average) in the four other new Member States, as they do in Bulgaria and Romania. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, weekly hours in chemicals are somewhat below the whole-economy average, while in the other countries they are the same as this average.

Considering all the countries of the expanded EU for which figures are available, average weekly hours in chemicals stood at 38.6 in 2005, the same as the whole economy average, and 0.3 hours longer than in chemicals in the EU15 only.


Table 3: Collectively agreed normal weekly hours in chemicals, 2005
Country Weekly hours

Bulgaria

40.0

Greece

40.0

Hungary

40.0

Malta

40.0

Netherlands

40.0

Poland

40.0

Portugal

40.0

Romania

40.0

Slovenia

40.0

Sweden

40.0

Italy

39.3

Ireland

39.0

Luxembourg

39.0

Spain

38.5

Austria

38.0

Belgium

38.0

Cyprus

38.0

Slovakia

37.6

Czech Republic

37.5

Germany

37.5

Norway

37.5

UK

37.4

Denmark

37.0

Finland

36.6

France

35.0

All countries

38.6

Whole EU

38.6

EU15 and Norway

38.3

New Member States (2004)

39.0

Table 3 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 3.

Notes on averages: ‘all countries’ is for 25 countries; ‘whole EU’ is for 22 countries; ‘new Member States’ is for seven countries.

Source: EIRO.

Banking

Table 4 below indicates collectively agreed normal weekly hours in banking (based on the relevant sectoral collective agreements, except where specified otherwise in the notes for the table). No data are available for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (collective bargaining generally plays little or no role in setting normal working hours in banking in these countries). The figure provides data only for 2005, as there was virtually no change from the 2004 figure in all countries (with the exception of an apparent increase in Slovakia).

Looking at the EU15 and Norway, average agreed weekly hours in banking stood at 37.0 hours in 2005 - a fall of 0.6 hours since 1999. There has been a notable reduction in France, Belgium, Greece, Italy and Luxembourg over the seven-year period and some relatively minor downward movement in some other countries (though the data sources used for the EIRO figures have changed in some countries over the years).

In 2005 in the EU15 and Norway, the longest weekly hours in banking (39) were found in Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg, and the shortest in Belgium, France and Portugal (35). The range, at four hours, is rather narrower than that found for overall average weekly hours across the whole economy. Working hours in banking are lower than the national whole-economy average (most markedly in Portugal, Belgium and Greece) or equal to it in all countries, with the sole exception of Germany. Overall, the average agreed working week in banking, at 37.0 hours, one hour below the overall average, underlining its position as a generally ‘low agreed hours’ sector in western Europe.

As for the new Member States, information is available for seven countries, with average weekly hours in banking standing at 39.3 hours in 2005 - 2.3 hours above the EU15/Norway average. Average weekly hours in Cyprus are at the average for the EU15, while in the Czech Republic and Slovakia they are around the 39-hours mark. The figure stands at 40 hours (i.e. three hours higher than the EU15 average) in the four other new Member States, as it does in Bulgaria and Romania. In Cyprus, weekly hours in banking are somewhat below the whole-economy average, while in the Czech Republic they are slightly higher, but in the other countries they are the same as this average.

Considering all the countries of the expanded EU for which figures are available, average weekly hours in banking stood at 37.7 in 2005, 0.9 hours below the whole-economy average, and 0.7 hours longer than in banking in the EU15 only.


Table 4: Collectively agreed normal weekly hours in banking, 2005
Country Weekly hours

Bulgaria

40.0

Hungary

40.0

Malta

40.0

Poland

40.0

Romania

40.0

Slovenia

40.0

Czech Republic

39.2

Germany

39.0

Ireland

39.0

Luxembourg

39.0

Slovakia

38.6

Austria

38.5

Sweden

38.5

Norway

37.5

Cyprus

37.0

Denmark

37.0

Finland

37.0

Greece

37.0

Spain

37.0

Italy

36.3

Netherlands

36.0

UK

35.2

Belgium

35.0

France

35.0

Portugal

35.0

All countries

37.9

Whole EU

37.7

EU15 and Norway

37.0

New Member States (2004)

39.3

Table 4 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 4.

Notes on averages: ‘all countries’ is for 25 countries; ‘whole EU’ is for 22 countries; ‘new Member States’ is for seven countries.

Source: EIRO.

Retail

Table 5 below sets out collectively agreed normal weekly hours in retail (based on the relevant sectoral collective agreements, except where specified otherwise in the notes for the table). No data are available for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia (collective bargaining generally plays little or no role in setting normal working hours in retail in these countries). The figure again provides data only for 2005, and there was no change from the 2004 figure in any country.

Since 2000, average weekly hours in retail in the EU15 and Norway have fallen very slightly from 38.3 to 38.1, with relatively small reductions in Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Finland.

In 2005, in the EU15 and Norway, the longest weekly hours in retail (40) were found in Greece, Portugal and Sweden and the shortest in Belgium and France (35). The range, at five hours, is identical to that found for overall average weekly hours across the whole economy. Working hours in retail are often higher than the national whole-economy average, as in Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, Spain and Luxembourg. Retail hours are lower than the national average only in Belgium, Austria and Germany. Overall, the average agreed working week in retail, at 38.1 hours, is 0.1 hours above the overall average (38.0).

Turning to the new Member States, data are available for six countries, with average weekly hours in retail standing at 39.6 hours in 2005 - 1.5 hours above the EU15/Norway average. Average weekly hours in Cyprus are just below the average for the ‘old’ EU. In the Czech Republic, the figure stands at 39.3 hours. The four other new Member States have a 40-hour week in retail (i.e. 1.9 hours higher than the EU15 average), as do Bulgaria and Romania. In the Czech Republic, weekly hours in retail are above the whole-economy average, while in the other countries they are the same as this average.

Considering all the countries of the expanded EU for which figures are available, average weekly hours in retail stood at 38.6 in 2005, the same as the whole-economy average, and 0.5 hours longer than in retail in the EU15.


Table 5: Collectively agreed normal weekly hours in retail, 2005
Country Weekly hours

Bulgaria

40.0

Greece

40.0

Hungary

40.0

Malta

40.0

Poland

40.0

Portugal

40.0

Romania

40.0

Slovenia

40.0

Sweden

40.0

Luxembourg

39.5

Czech Republic

39.3

Spain

39.1

Ireland

39.0

Italy

38.8

Austria

38.5

Cyprus

38.0

Netherlands

38.0

UK

37.9

Finland

37.5

Germany

37.5

Norway

37.5

Denmark

37.0

Belgium

35.0

France

35.0

All countries

38.7

Whole EU

38.6

EU15 and Norway

38.1

New Member States (2004)

39.6

Table 5 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 5.

Notes on averages: ‘all countries’ is for 24 countries; ‘whole EU’ is for 21 countries; ‘new Member States’ is for six countries.

Source: EIRO.

Local government

Table 6 below shows collectively agreed normal weekly hours in local government in 2005 (based on the relevant sectoral collective agreements, except where specified otherwise in the notes). No data are available for the Czech Republic and Estonia. Legislation, rather than bargaining, still plays a part in setting weekly hours in local government in countries such as Austria, Latvia and Portugal. No noticeable change was recorded in any country between 2004 and 2005.

Since 1999, average agreed weekly hours in local government in the EU15 and Norway have fallen slightly from 37.9 to 37.5, mainly due to reductions in France and Italy, with few changes elsewhere.

In 2005 in the EU15 and Norway, the longest weekly hours in local government (40) were found in Austria, Greece, Luxembourg and Sweden and the shortest in Italy (32.9). The range, at a little over seven hours, is rather wider than found for overall average weekly hours across the whole economy. Working hours in local government are significantly lower than the national whole-economy average in Italy, Spain and Portugal, and to a lesser extent in the Netherlands and the UK. However, hours in local government are notably higher than the national average in Austria, Luxembourg and Sweden. Overall, the average agreed working week in local government, at 37.5 hours, is half an hour below the overall average (38.0).

As for the new Member States, data are available for eight countries, with average weekly hours in local government standing at 39.4 hours in 2005 - 1.9 hours above the EU15/Norway average. Average weekly hours in Cyprus and Slovakia are at the average for the EU15, while a 40-hour week is the norm in the other new Member States, Bulgaria and Romania (i.e. 2.5 hours higher than in the present EU). In Cyprus and Slovakia, weekly hours in local government are below the whole-economy average, while in the other countries they correspond to the average.

Looking at the expanded EU, average agreed weekly hours in local government stood at 38.1 in 2005, half an hour shorter than the whole-economy average, and 0.6 hours longer than in local government in the EU15.


Table 6: Collectively agreed normal weekly hours in local government, 2005
Country Weekly hours

Austria

40.0

Bulgaria

40.0

Greece

40.0

Hungary

40.0

Latvia

40.0

Lithuania

40.0

Luxembourg

40.0

Malta

40.0

Poland

40.0

Romania

40.0

Slovenia

40.0

Sweden

40.0

Ireland

39.0

Germany

38.5

Finland

38.3

Belgium

38.0

Cyprus

37.5

Norway

37.5

Slovakia

37.5

Denmark

37.0

UK

37.0

Netherlands

36.0

Spain

35.2

France

35.0

Portugal

35.0

Italy

32.9

All countries

38.2

Whole EU

38.1

EU15 and Norway

37.5

New Member States (2004)

39.4

Table 6 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 6.

Notes on averages: ‘all countries’ is for 26 countries; ‘whole EU’ is for 23 countries; ‘new Member States’ is for eight countries.

Source: EIRO.

Civil service

Table 7 below shows collectively agreed normal weekly hours in the central civil service in 2005 - no changes were recorded from 2004 to 2005. No data are available for Estonia. While many of the figures refer to collective agreements, it should be noted that in numerous countries the working time of civil servants is set by law - this is particularly the case in many of the new Member States.

Since 2000, average agreed weekly hours in the civil service in the EU15 and Norway have fallen from 37.7 to 37.1 hours, mainly due to reductions in France, Italy, Belgium and Spain, with few changes elsewhere.

In 2005 in the EU15 and Norway, the longest weekly hours in the civil service (40) were found in Austria and Luxembourg and the shortest in Italy (32.9). The range, at over seven hours, is rather wider than found for overall average weekly hours across the whole economy. Working hours in the civil service are significantly lower than the national whole-economy average in Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal, and to a lesser extent in Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, and the UK. Hours in the civil service are higher than the national average only in Austria, Luxembourg, Germany and Sweden. Overall, the average agreed working week in the civil service, at 37.1 hours, is 0.9 hours below the overall average (38.0).

As for the new Member States, data are available for nine countries, with average weekly hours in the civil service standing at 39.4 hours in 2005 - 2.3 hours above the EU15/Norway average. Average weekly hours in Cyprus and Slovakia are slightly above the average for the EU15, while a 40-hour week is the norm in the other new Member States (i.e. 2.9 hours higher than in the EU15), as it is in Bulgaria and Romania. In Cyprus and Slovakia, weekly hours in the civil service are below the whole-economy average and in the Czech Republic they are above average, while in the other countries they are average.

Looking at the whole EU, average agreed weekly hours in the civil service stood at 37.9 in 2005, 0.7 hours shorter than the whole-economy average, and 0.8 hours longer than in the civil service in the EU15.


Table 7: Collectively agreed normal weekly hours in the civil service, 2005
Country Weekly hours

Austria

40.0

Bulgaria

40.0

Czech Republic

40.0

Hungary

40.0

Latvia

40.0

Lithuania

40.0

Luxembourg

40.0

Malta

40.0

Poland

40.0

Romania

40.0

Slovenia

40.0

Sweden

39.5

Ireland

39.0

Germany

38.5

Cyprus

37.5

Greece

37.5

Norway

37.5

Slovakia

37.5

Denmark

37.0

Finland

36.3

Belgium

36.0

Netherlands

36.0

UK

36.0

Spain

35.2

France

35.0

Portugal

35.0

Italy

32.9

All countries

38.0

Whole EU

37.9

EU15 and Norway

37.1

New Member States (2004)

39.4

Table 7 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 7.

Notes on averages: ‘all countries’ is for 27 countries; ‘whole EU’ is for 24 countries; ‘new Member States’ is for nine countries.

Source: EIRO.


Statutory maximum working week and day

Collective bargaining on the duration of working time takes place in all countries within the framework of statutory rules on maximum working times. In the EU and Norway, these should, at the least, respect the provisions of the Directive on certain aspects of the organisation of working time (originally adopted in 1993 and now consolidated in Directive 2003/88/EC), which include a 48-hour maximum working week (on average over a reference period not exceeding four months), a minimum daily rest period of 11 hours and a daily hours limit of eight hours for night workers.

Table 8: Statutory maximum working week, 2005
Country Hours

Cyprus

48

Denmark

48

France

48

Germany*

48

Greece

48

Hungary

48

Ireland

48

Italy

48

Lithuania

48

Luxembourg

48

Malta

48

Netherlands

48

Romania

48

UK

48

Austria

40

Bulgaria

40

Czech Republic

40

Estonia

40

Finland

40

Latvia

40

Norway

40

Poland

40

Portugal

40

Slovakia

40

Slovenia

40

Spain

40

Sweden

40

Belgium

38

* No explicit weekly maximum in Germany, the 48-hour figure represents an average based on daily maximum rules.

Source: EIRO.

As table 8 above shows, the countries break down into two equal groups - those that set their maximum weekly hours at the 48 hours specified in the EU working time Directive, and those that operate a rather lower limit of 40 hours (or 38 in Belgium). In the first group of 14 countries, the statutory maximum is in excess of average collectively agreed weekly working hours, and of actual or usual average weekly hours (see tables 10 and 11 below) - it thus appears to operate essentially as a safety net (though the 48-hour figure often includes overtime - TN0302101S). In the second group of 14 countries, the statutory maximum is much closer to average agreed or actual/usual weekly hours (and identical to agreed hours in some cases), indicating a more active role for the law in governing working time (though overtime may not be included in this figure). There was little change in this area between 2004 and 2005.

These statutory maximum figures may be exceeded in many countries, in the context of working time flexibility schemes allowing weekly hours to be varied around an average over a reference period as permitted by the EU Directive (TN0308101S). To take some examples:

  • in Austria, weekly hours may be varied up to a maximum of 50 over a reference period, by agreement, if an average 40-hour week is maintained;
  • in Bulgaria, the working week may be extended to 48 hours, and the working day to 10 hours, but only involving a total of 60 working days a year;
  • in Denmark, the 48-hour maximum must be observed on average within a period of four months;
  • in Estonia and Slovakia, the average working week may be up to 48 hours over a four-month period, if overtime is included;
  • in Finland, weekly hours may be varied (up to 45) over a 52-week reference period, if an average 40-hour week is maintained;
  • in Luxembourg, weekly hours may be increased by collective agreement to a maximum of 60 during six weeks a year, in specific sectors characterised by workload peaks;
  • in the Netherlands, the 48-hour maximum must be maintained over a 13-week reference period. If no agreement is reached between employer and trade union (or works council), statutory maximum hours are nine per day, but by agreement daily hours may be extended to 12, as long as average weekly hours do not exceed 60 over a four-week reference period (and do not exceed 48 over a 13-week period);
  • in Norway, average weekly hours may vary and be as high as 48, as long as the 40-hour maximum is maintained over a reference period of up to one year. In some specific circumstances, the reference period may be extended;
  • in Poland, weekly working time may be varied up to 48 hours over a four-month reference periods, if an average 40-hour week is maintained;
  • in Portugal, weekly hours may be increased to 60 by agreement, if the maximum is maintained on average over a reference period;
  • in Spain, weekly hours may be higher if a 40-hour average is maintained over a reference period; and
  • in the UK, weekly hours may exceed 48 as long as this average is maintained over a 17-week reference period

The frequent complexity of rules relating to overtime, variable working time etc means that the maximum hours set out in table 8 cannot be compared directly, and that the differences between the groups of countries with maximum weeks of 40 and 48 hours may not be great in practice.

All the countries examined also have a form of statutory maximum working day, as set out in table 9 below. In Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and the UK there is no explicit maximum working day (except for night workers), but a 13-hour maximum (in most circumstances) can be derived from the application of the working time Directive’s minimum 11-hour daily rest period. Once again, whether or not overtime is included differs between countries, and daily hours may often be higher in the context of working time flexibility schemes. For example:

  • in Bulgaria, the working day may be extended to 10 hours (and the working week to 48 hours), but only involving a total of 60 working days a year;
  • in the Czech Republic, daily hours may be extended up to 12 under working time flexibility schemes within a reference period;
  • in Estonia, the working day may be up to 12 hours, including overtime;

• in Finland, an employer and an employee can agree to extend regular daily working hours by up to one hour. When working hours are flexible, regular daily working hours can be extended by up to three hours;

• in Germany, daily hours may be extended up to 10, if an eight-hour average is maintained over a 24-week reference period;

  • in Luxembourg, daily hours may be increased by collective agreement to a maximum of 12 during six weeks a year, in specific sectors characterised by workload peaks;

• in the Netherlands, as mentioned above, if no agreement is reached between employer and trade union (or works council) statutory maximum hours are nine per day, but by agreement daily hours may be extended to 12, as long as average weekly hours do not exceed 60 over a four-week reference period (and do not exceed 48 over a 13-week period);

• in Poland, in specific cases the working time during a 24-hour period may be extended to 12, 16, or to 24 hours, with the proviso that an employee’s ‘excess’ hours may not be more than four hours in a 24-hour period (or 150 hours in the calendar year);

• in Portugal, daily hours may be increased to 13 under hours-averaging schemes;

• in Spain, daily hours may be higher if the nine-hour average is maintained over a reference period; and

• in Sweden, daily hours may be varied in certain circumstances.

Table 9: Statutory maximum working day, 2005
Country Hours

Cyprus

13

Denmark

13

Ireland

13

Italy

13

UK

13

Malta

12.5

Greece

12

Hungary

12

Austria

10

France

10

Luxembourg

10

Slovenia

10

Czech Republic

9

Netherlands

9

Norway

9

Slovakia

9

Spain

9

Belgium

8

Bulgaria

8

Estonia

8

Finland

8

Germany

8

Latvia

8

Lithuania

8

Poland

8

Portugal

8

Romania

8

Sweden

8

Source: EIRO.


Actual weekly working hours

Some of the problems with data on collectively agreed normal weekly hours are avoided in statistics on actual weekly hours worked, typically measured in labour force surveys. These figures give a more accurate impression of how many hours workers really work in a given week, as they include factors such as overtime and absence. However, the national data on average actual weekly hours are often problematic for purposes of comparison, given differing definitions. Notably, some national surveys do not distinguish between full- and part-time workers. Therefore, table 10 below gives Eurostat figures for ‘average actual hours worked’ in all jobs by full-time workers (including any second as well as main jobs), based on its labour force survey for the fourth quarter of 2004, for the EU Member States, Norway, Bulgaria and Romania. These hours include all hours, including extra hours, whether paid or not. Data disaggregated by gender does not yet appear to be available, except for overall EU25 averages of 39.0 hours for women and 42.4 for men (41.1 for both) and euro-zone averages of 38.6 hours for women and 41.9 for men (40.7 for both). Equivalent actual hours figures for part-time workers are also unavailable for 2004, again with the exception of overall EU25 averages of 20.2 hours for women and 20.4 for men (20.2 for both) and euro-zone averages of 20.1 hours for women and 20.5 for men (20.2 for both)

Table 10: Hours actually worked per week for full-time employed people, 4th quarter 2004
Country Weekly hours

Latvia

43.7

Slovenia

43.3

Greece

43.2

Austria

42.9

Poland

42.6

Germany

42.3

UK

42.2

Cyprus

42.0

Czech Republic

42.0

Ireland

41.8

Romania

41.7

Estonia

41.6

Netherlands

41.6

Slovakia

41.6

Luxembourg

41.5

Hungary

41.4

Bulgaria

41.0

Italy

40.3

Malta

40.3

Portugal

40.2

Belgium

40.0

Lithuania

40.0

Sweden

39.8

Finland

39.6

Norway

39.5

Spain

39.3

Denmark

39.2

France

39.1

All countries

41.2

Whole EU

41.3

EU15 and Norway

40.8

EU15

40.9

New Member States (2004)

41.9

Source: Eurostat, with averages calculated by EIRO.

In the EU25, the highest levels of actual hours worked by full-time workers are found in Latvia, Slovenia and Greece, and the lowest in France, Denmark and Spain. Eight out of the 10 new Member States have actual hours above the EU25 average, compared with seven out of 15 old Member States. Of the new Member States, only Lithuania and Malta have below-average actual hours. In the EU15, the longest actual full-time hours are worked in Greece, Austria and Germany and the shortest in France, Denmark and Spain.

Actual hours worked by full-timers are higher in all countries except Lithuania (where the two figures are equal) than the average normal collectively agreed working week (though it should be noted that the former figure includes hours worked in any second job). In the EU25, average actual weekly hours were 41.3 in 2004, compared with average collectively agreed weekly working time of 38.6 hours in 2005. The respective figures for the EU15 were 40.9 and 38.0 (a slightly wider gap). The average actual working week is within one hour of the agreed normal week in Malta, Spain, Bulgaria and Sweden. Actual hours exceed agreed hours by: one to two hours in Hungary, Estonia, Romania, Portugal, Belgium and Norway; two to three hours in Finland, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Ireland and Slovakia; three to four hours in Greece, Slovenia, Latvia, Cyprus and the Czech Republic; and four to five hours in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The gap between agreed and actual hours is widest, at five hours, in the UK - arguably reflecting that country’s long hours and overtime culture and the low coverage of collective bargaining.

As noted above, the national data on average actual weekly hours is problematic for purposes of comparison, given differing definitions. However, for the 23 countries where this is available, this information is provided for full-time workers in table 11 below (many of the 2005 figures are not yet available). Gender-disaggregated data are available for many countries.


Table 11. Average actual weekly working hours, full-time workers, 2004 and 2005
Country 2004 2005

All

Women

Men

All

Women

Men

Austria*

40.1

39.9

40.1

nd

nd

nd

Belgium*

39.1

37.8

39.8

nd

nd

nd

Bulgaria

41.1

40.9

41.3

41.1

40.9

41.2

Cyprus

41.4

39.3

42.9

nd

nd

nd

Czech Republic

37.3

35.5

38.8

nd

nd

nd

Estonia

42.1

41.1

42.9

nd

nd

nd

Finland

38.2

36.9

39.3

38.3

37.2

39.3

France

35.6

37.4

39.4

36.7

nd

nd

Germany

37.8

nd

nd

nd

nd

nd

Ireland

40.0

36.5

41.3

40.2

37.0

41.3

Italy*

37.0

33.0

39.0

nd

nd

nd

Latvia

39.4

37.4

41.4

nd

nd

nd

Lithuania

40.1

39.4

40.7

39.8

39.1

40.5

Luxembourg

39.7

nd

nd

39.7

nd

nd

Malta

39.9

38.2

40.6

39.7

38.6

40.2

Netherlands*

39.0

38.4

39.2

nd

nd

nd

Norway

39.7

37.2

41.0

39.1

37.0

40.2

Poland

42.8

39.4

45.4

42.8

39.3

45.5

Romania

41.3

40.3

42.2

41.1

40.2

41.9

Slovakia

40.6

40.0

41.0

40.7

40.1

41.2

Slovenia

37.1

35.2

38.7

37.6

35.9

39.1

Spain

38.4

nd

nd

38.1

nd

nd

UK

39.5

37.5

40.8

39.4

37.4

40.6

*2003 figures.

The figures in table 11 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 8.

Source: EIRO.

For 19 countries, some figures are also available for the average actual weekly working hours of part-time workers - see table 12 below (again, many of the 2005 figures are not yet available). It should be noted that the definition of part-time workers varies from country to country.

Table 12: Average actual weekly working hours, part-time workers, 2004 and 2005

Country

2004

2005

All

Women

Men

All

Women

Men

Austria*

22.1

22.1

22.1

nd

nd

nd

Belgium*

23.3

23.2

23.9

nd

nd

nd

Bulgaria

20.8

20.5

21.0

20.5

20.0

21.3

Cyprus

20.2

20.4

20.0

nd

nd

nd

Czech Republic

20.7

21.0

20.0

19.6

19.7

19.4

Estonia

20.7

21.0

20.1

nd

nd

nd

Finland

21.0

21.1

20.6

21.0

21.2

20.6

France

22.6

23.1

22.4

nd

nd

nd

Germany

14.0

nd

nd

nd

nd

nd

Latvia

21.7

21.8

21.5

nd

nd

nd

Lithuania

20.7

20.4

21.2

20.3

20.5

19.6

Malta

19.2

18.9

19.8

19.0

19.4

18.2

Netherlands

21.6

21.4

22.3

nd

nd

nd

Norway

20.9

21.6

19.0

20.8

21.4

19.0

Romania

23.9

22.1

26.1

23.2

22.8

23.8

Slovakia

21.5

21.5

21.2

21.2

21.2

21.1

Slovenia

15.7

15.4

16.2

16.8

16.8

16.8

Spain

22.4

nd

nd

22.6

nd

nd

UK

19.3

19.4

18.7

18.6

18.7

18.1

With regard to sources, definitions etc, the notes to table 11 apply to table 12, with the exceptions that the figures for Latvia are for the third quarter of 2004.

* 2003 figures.

Source: EIRO.


Annual leave

The annual duration of working time is strongly influenced by the amount of paid annual leave to which workers are entitled. Table 13 below gives the average number of days of collectively agreed annual leave for 19 countries where data are available (harmonised on the basis of a five-day working week). The figures generally apply to 2005. The average entitlement across the EU15 and Norway stands at 26.8 days, and has increased slightly over the past few years from 25.6 days in 2000 (though the number of countries included and the calculation methods have not been uniform over this period). Agreed annual leave entitlement varies considerably, from 33 days in Sweden to 23 days in Greece. Little information about this is available from the new Member States and acceding countries, with figures only for Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - among these countries, agreed leave is highest, at 25 days, in the Czech Republic. In most other new Member States, annual leave is probably at the statutory level (see below), as it is Cyprus and Slovenia.


Table 13: Average collectively agreed annual paid leave (in days), 2005
Country Paid leave

Sweden

33.0

Denmark

30.0

Germany

30.0

Italy

28.0

Luxembourg

28.0

Netherlands

25.6

Austria

25.0

Czech Republic

25.0

Finland

25.0

France

25.0

Norway

25.0

UK

24.6

Portugal

24.5

Romania

24.0

Greece

23.0

Bulgaria

22.0

Slovakia

21.3

Cyprus

20.0

Slovenia

20.0

All countries

25.2

Whole EU

25.5

EU15 and Norway

26.8

Table 13 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 9.

Notes on averages: ‘all countries’ is for 19 countries; ‘whole EU’ is for 16 countries; ‘EU15 and Norway’ is for 12 countries; ‘new Member States’ is for six countries.

Source: EIRO.

All countries examined here have a statutory minimum period of paid annual leave, as set out in table 14 below. In the table, the leave is expressed in days and harmonised on the basis of a five-day working week, and the statistics given are the basic entitlement (entitlement increases with length of service in some countries). The majority of countries (19 out of 28) have a 20-day minimum entitlement, as laid down in the EU working time Directive - this group includes all the new Member States (except Malta) and acceding countries. Five countries have a 25-day minimum (Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Sweden), while the entitlement is 24 days in Malta, 22 in Portugal and Spain, and 21 in Norway.

Average collectively agreed annual leave exceeds the statutory minimum by four or more days in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Sweden and the UK - indicating that the law acts essentially as a safety net in these countries. Average collectively agreed annual leave and the statutory minimum are close or the same in Austria, France, Cyprus, Slovakia and Slovenia - and also probably in most other new Member States - indicating a more active role for the law.


Table 14: Statutory minimum paid leave (in days), 2005
Country Paid leave

Austria

25.0

Denmark

25.0

France

25.0

Luxembourg

25.0

Sweden

25.0

Malta

24.0

Portugal

22.0

Spain

22.0

Norway

21.0

Belgium

20.0

Bulgaria

20.0

Cyprus

20.0

Czech Republic

20.0

Estonia

20.0

Finland

20.0

Germany

20.0

Greece

20.0

Hungary

20.0

Ireland

20.0

Italy

20.0

Latvia

20.0

Lithuania

20.0

Netherlands

20.0

Poland

20.0

Romania

20.0

Slovakia

20.0

Slovenia

20.0

UK

20.0

All countries

21.2

Whole EU

21.3

EU15 and Norway

21.9

New Member States (2004)

20.4

Table 14 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 10.

Source: EIRO.


Annual working time

Collectively agreed annual working time figures - which may be a more accurate measure of the duration of working time as they take into account factors such as leave, holidays and flexibility arrangements - are available from national statistical sources for a few countries, and are listed in table 15 below


Table 15: Average collectively agreed annual working hours, 2005
Country 2004 2005

Denmark

1,665

nd

Finland*

1,630

nd

France

1,609

1,607

Germany

1,656

1,656

Greece

1,840

1,840

Ireland

1,809

1,809

Italy

1,646

nd

Netherlands

1,721

nd

Romania

1,840

1,840

Spain

1,646

1,630

The figures in table 15 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 11.

* 2002 figure.

Source: EIRO.

In order to arrive at a crude annual estimate for collectively agreed annual normal working time in all countries for 2005, the figures for average collectively agreed normal weekly hours (see table 1 above) were taken and a five-day working week and a 52-week year assumed. From this total annual figure, the average collectively annual paid leave (see table 13 above) was subtracted - or, where no data are available on this point, the minimum statutory annual leave (see table 14 above) - and the number of annual public holidays (excluding those falling on Sundays, as they sometimes do in countries such as Belgium). Where there are varying numbers of regional public holidays (as in Germany or Spain), an attempt has been made to give a mid-range figure. It should also be noted that additional holidays may be observed locally or on the basis of collective agreements or custom, while the number of public holidays may vary from year (especially in countries that do not award a substitute holiday when a public holiday falls at the weekend). The resulting annual figures do not, of course, take into account factors such as overtime working, or other forms of time off and leave. They are only very rough estimates, but they allow some broad observations to be made - see table 16 below.

In the whole EU25, average collectively agreed annual normal working time in 2005 stood at 1,748.4 hours. In the EU15 (plus Norway), the figure was 1,707.8 hours, compared with 1,808.8 in the new Member States. Workers in the latter countries thus work, on average, 101 hours a year (nearly 6%) longer than their counterparts in the old EU - the equivalent of over two and a half working weeks a year more. However, annual working time in Greece and Ireland is around the average for the new Member States, while that in Cyprus and the Czech Republic is nearer the EU15 average. Overall, the EU’s longest hours are in Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia and Poland, while the shortest are in France, Denmark and Germany. Average annual hours in Hungary are some 304 hours higher (over 19% more) than those in France - the equivalent of around 7.6 working weeks in Hungary.

Looking at the ranking of the 28 countries in terms of the length of their agreed working hours, the countries with the longest and shortest weekly hours are generally also those with the longest and shortest annual hours. However, the annual perspective results in rather different rankings for some countries than provided by the weekly hours figures. Some countries have a lower position in the ‘league table’ for normal annual hours than that for normal weekly hours because of the effects of relatively long annual leave (e.g. Germany, Sweden) or a combination of relatively long annual leave with a relatively high number of public holidays (e.g. Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal). Conversely, some countries have a higher position in the table for normal annual hours than that for normal weekly hours because of the effects of relatively low annual leave (e.g. Cyprus and Spain) or a relatively low number of public holidays (Norway and the UK), or both (e.g. Belgium, though the annual leave figures used are for minimum statutory leave, due to an absence of figures on agreed leave).

The total of agreed annual leave and public holidays varies in the EU from 42 days in Sweden to 26 days in Hungary - a difference of over 60% or more than three working weeks. Other notably high-leave countries include Denmark, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg, while other notably low-leave countries include Estonia, Belgium (though the statutory annual leave figure is used here), Latvia, Lithuania and Ireland. The average figure for the EU15 and Norway is 35 days, while that for the new Member States is 30.6.

Table 16: Average collectively agreed normal annual working time, 2005
Country A. Weekly hours B. Gross annual hours (Ax52) C. Annual leave (days) D. Public holidays (days) E. All leave (C+D) expressed in hours F. Annual hours (B-E)

Hungary

40.0

2,080.0

20.0*

6.0

208.0

1,872.0

Latvia

40.0

2,080.0

20.0*

9.0

232.0

1,848.0

Lithuania

40.0

2,080.0

20.0*

9.0

232.0

1,848.0

Estonia

40.0

2,080.0

20.0*

8.0

240.0

1,840.0

Slovenia

40.0

2,080.0

20.0

10.0

240.0

1,840.0

Poland

40.0

2,080.0

20.0*

11.0

248.0

1,832.0

Romania

40.0

2,080.0

24.0

7.0

248.0

1,832.0

Bulgaria

40.0

2,080.0

22.0

10.0

256.0

1,824.0

Greece

40.0

2,080.0

23.0

10.0

264.0

1,816.0

Ireland

39.0

2,028.0

20.0*

9.0

226.2

1,801.8

Malta

40.0

2,080.0

24.0*

12.0

288.0

1,792.0

Belgium

38.0

1,976.0

20.0*

8.0

212.8

1,763.2

Slovakia

38.6

2,007.2

21.3

12.0

257.1

1,750.1

Spain

38.5

2,002.0

22.0*

11.0

254.1

1,747.9

Austria

38.8

2,017.6

25.0

10.0

271.6

1,746.0

Cyprus

38.0

1,976.0

20.0*

11.0

235.6

1,740.4

Luxembourg

39.0

2,028.0

28.0

10.0

296.4

1,731.6

Czech Republic

38.0

1,976.0

25.0

8.0

250.8

1,725.2

Portugal

38.3

1,991.6

24.5

12.0

279.6

1,712.0

Norway

37.5

1,950.0

25.0

8.0

247.5

1,702.5

UK

37.2

1,934.4

24.6

8.0

242.5

1,691.9

Sweden

38.8

2,017.6

33.0

9.0

325.9

1,691.7

Finland

37.5

1,950.0

25.0

10.0

262.5

1,687.5

Italy

38.0

1,976.0

28.0

10.0

288.8

1,687.2

Netherlands

37.0

1,924.0

25.6

8.0

248.6

1,675.4

Germany

37.7

1,960.4

30.0

9.0

294.1

1,666.3

Denmark

37.0

1,924.0

30.0

9.0

288.6

1,635.4

France

35.0

1,820.0

25.0

11.0

252.0

1,568.0

All countries

38.6

2,009.2

23.8

9.5

256.8

1,752.4

Whole EU

38.6

2,006.0

23.8

9.6

257.6

1,748.4

EU15 and Norway

38.0

1,973.7

25.5

9.5

266.0

1,707.8

New Member States (2004)

39.5

2,051.9

21.0

9.6

243.2

1,808.8

Source: EIRO. * Statutory annual leave figure.


Overtime

The final factor in the working time equation briefly considered here is overtime work, which is generally in addition to the ‘normal’ hours that have been the main focus of the discussion so far. Overtime is defined by Eurostat as ‘all hours worked in excess of the normal hours, which are the hours fixed in each country by or in pursuance of laws, regulations or collective agreements or, where not so fixed, the number of hours in excess of which any time worked is remunerated at overtime rates or forms an exception to the recognised rules or custom of the establishment or the process concerned … Extra hours or credit hours in the case of flexi-time are not considered overtime because they are balanced when working less than the contractual number of hours on other working days.’ Overtime may be paid or unpaid. In most countries covered here, its regulation is quite complex, involving rules set by legislation and by collective bargaining, which are often interlinked with other rules relating to the length and flexibility of working time (TN0302101S).

National data on overtime working is not available from all the countries concerned, and the data that is available is rarely comparable. Definitions may vary. Some figures refer to overtime per worker, and others to overtime per worker performing overtime. Some national statistical offices or other sources measure overtime weekly, others monthly and others annually, while some use several measures. Some sources express overtime in hours, others as a percentage of the normal hours of the workers concerned. The available data, from 15 countries, is presented in table 17 below.


Table 17: Data on extent of overtime working, 2004 and 2005
Country Measure Extent

Bulgaria

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per month

1.47 hours in 2004, 0.91 hours in first nine months of 2005

Finland

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker performing overtime per week

7.8 hours in 2004 (6.0 for women, 9.0 for men), 7.7 in 2005 (6.2 for women, 8.8 for men)

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker performing overtime per month

34.0 hours in 2004 (26.1 for women, 39.5 for men), 33.4 in 2005 (26.8 for women, 38.1 for men)

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker performing overtime per year

407.8 hours in 2004 (313.3 for women, 473.4 for men), 400.8 in 2005 (321.3 for women, 456.8 for men)

Germany

Total overtime hours worked by all employees nationally

1.456 billion hours in 2004, 1.439 billion hours in 2005 (estimate)

Hungary

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker performing overtime per week

10.1 hours in first quarter of 2004 (9.2 for women, 10.6 for men)

Italy

Overtime worked as percentage of total normal hours

5.5% in 2004 (6.1% in 2003)

Malta

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per week

9.8 hours in 2004 (8.6 for women, 10.3 for men), 13.0 in year to July-September 2005 (9.5 for women, 13.8 for men)

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per month

42.1 hours in 2004 (37.0 for women, 44.3 for men), 55.9 in year to July-September 2005 (40.9 for women, 59.3 for men)

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per year

509.6 hours in 2004 (447.2 for women, 535.6 for men), 676.0 in year to July-September 2005 (494.0 for women, 717.6 for men)

Netherlands

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per year

16.0 in 2004 (5.0 for women, 25.0 for men)

Norway

Overtime as percentage of all hours worked

4.4% in second quarter of 2004 (2.9% for women, 5.2% for men), 4.7% in second quarter of 2005 (3.5% for women, 5.4% for men)

Portugal

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per week

0.35 hours in first half of 2004

Romania

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per week

1.3 hours in 2004 (0.3 for women, 2.2 for men), 1.1 in first quarter of 2005 (0.2 for women, 1.9 for men)

Slovakia

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per month

3.3 hours in 2004 (2.1 for women, 4.5 for men)

Slovenia

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per week

1.3 hours in 2004 (0.9 for women, 1.6 for men), 1.3 in 2005 (1.0 for women, 1.6 for men)

Spain

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per week

5.9 hours in 2004, 3.9 hours in first three quarters of 2005

Sweden

Overtime as percentage of all hours worked

2.3% in year to February 2004, 2.3% in year to February 2005

UK

Average number of hours of overtime worked per worker per week

1.6 hours in 2004 (0.7 for women, 2.1 for men), 1.5 in 2005 (0.7 for women, 2.0 for men)

The figures in table 7 should be read in conjunction with the notes in appendix 12.

Source: EIRO.

For genuinely comparable figures, Eurostat provides a closer look at the issue - with regard only to the EU15 - in its spring 2001 labour force survey (‘Working overtime’, Statistics in focus, Population and social conditions, 11/2004). Eurostat found that employees in the EU15 worked, on average, eight hours of overtime per week. Male full-time employees worked most overtime, at almost nine hours. Female full-time employees worked seven hours of overtime on average. These full-time figures were on average one to two hours more than part-time employees. Male part-time employees worked, on average, seven hours of overtime and female part-time employees fewer than six hours. In Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Luxembourg (women only), Portugal, Finland (men only) and the UK, full-time employees worked up to two hours of overtime more than the EU average. Whether part-time employees in the Member States worked more overtime hours than the EU average varied by gender. In Sweden, male part-timers worked four additional hours of overtime above the EU average, but in Belgium and Spain female part-timers worked between one and two additional hours of overtime. In Denmark, Germany and Finland, both men and women worked more overtime hours than the EU average.

In spring 2001, some 12% of female employees and 17% of male employees in the EU15 worked overtime. The relative frequency of overtime was much lower among part-time than among full-time employees - some 18% of male full-time employees worked overtime, but only 8% of male part-time employees. The difference was smaller for women. Most overtime hours were worked by male full-time employees, employees aged 55 or more, senior officers, managers, professionals and machine operators and assemblers. When paid overtime was distinguished, relatively more paid overtime hours were worked by female part-time employees, young male employees, machine operators and assemblers. In the whole EU15, the number of overtime or paid overtime hours did not vary by establishment size, although overtime was more prevalent in medium-sized or large local units.

Mark Carley, SPIRE Associates/IRRU, University of Warwick


Appendices

Appendix 1

Back to table 1

Table 1 should be read together with the following notes:

  • Austria: figure is an estimate based on most important collective agreements.
  • Belgium: figure refers to the statutory working week set by the intersectoral collective agreement for 2005-6.
  • Bulgaria: figure, from the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB), refers to the normal week (which is also the statutory figure) set in the great majority of agreements.
  • Cyprus: figure from Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO).
  • Czech Republic: figure, from Information System on Working Conditions (ISWC) and the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (Ceskomoravská konfederace odborových svazu, CMKOS), refer to hours set by enterprise-level collective agreements (the more prevalent bargaining level); according to CMKOS, about 59% of higher-level collective agreements signed by its affiliates in 2005 set normal hours at 37.5.
  • Estonia: as set by law.
  • Finland: figure is an estimate, based on typical provisions of sectoral agreements.
  • France: since 1 January 2002, normal weekly hours must, by law, be set at 35 hours in all companies (those with fewer than 10 employees have an exemption scheme relating to overtime).
  • Germany: figures cover whole of Germany; the figure for west Germany was 37.4 hours in both 2004 and 2005 and the figure for east Germany 38.9 hours in 2004 and 39.0 in 2005; data from the Institute for Economics and Social Science (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI) collective agreement archive.
  • Hungary: collective agreements usually lay down the statutory weekly working hours of 40 hours (although the Labour Code allows collective agreements to stipulate a shorter period, in practice deviations from the statutory hours are relatively rare).
  • Italy: figure represents the mid-range of agreements which provide for 36-40 hours per week.
  • Latvia: as set by law.
  • Lithuania: as set by law.
  • Luxembourg: figure is an estimate.
  • Malta: while no statistical data exist, most collective agreements specify a normal weekly working time of 40 hours.
  • Netherlands: figure is an EIRO calculation, based on collective agreements.
  • Norway: figure represents ‘normal working hours’ for employees covered by collective agreements; employees working shifts (e.g. in metalworking) or at nights (e.g. in local government healthcare) work fewer weekly hours.
  • Poland: as set by law.
  • Portugal: figure, from Ministry of Labour and Solidarity’s General Directorate for Studies, Statistics and Planning (Direcção-Geral de Estudos, Estatística e Planeamento, DGEEP) employment survey, is for the first half of 2004.
  • Romania: as set by the tripartite national collective agreement, which provides a minimum basic framework for employment conditions (same figure is set by law).
  • Slovakia: figure refers to workers in single-shift systems - equivalent figure for workers in two-shift systems was 35.6 hours, in three-shift systems 32.9 hours, in continuous shifts 34.2 hours and with flexi-time 36.0 hours; data from Trexima Bratislava Information System on Working Conditions.
  • Slovenia: figure based on norm in sectoral collective agreements (same figure is set by law).
  • Spain: figure calculated from Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MTAS) collective bargaining statistics on average agreed annual hours (1,756.6 in 2005), on the assumption of a six-day week and 274 working days a year.
  • Sweden: 2003 figure from Mediation Authority (Medlingsinstitutet).
  • UK: figures from Incomes Data Services (IDS) HR Studies on ‘Hours and holidays’ (October 2004 and October 2005), based on a study of company and sector agreements.

Appendix 2

Back to table 2

Table 2 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Belgium: figure is for industrial and artisanal metalworking (joint committee 111.01 and 111.02).
  • Cyprus: figure from Cyprus Metalworkers Mechanics and Electricians Trade Union (SEMMHK-PEO).
  • Czech Republic: figure, from ISWC, refers to hours set by enterprise-level collective agreements (the more prevalent bargaining level) signed by the Metalworkers’ Union (OZ KOVO); the figure for OZ KOVO higher-level collective agreements was 37.5.
  • Finland: figure refers to day work and two-shift work; figure for intermittent three-shift work was 35.8 hours and for uninterrupted three-shift work 34.9 hours.
  • Germany: figure, from the WSI collective agreement archive, applies to western Germany - the figure for eastern Germany was 38 hours.
  • Italy: estimate based on annual figure from Bank of Italy (Banca D’Italia) of 1,724 hours (assuming 28 days annual leave and 12 public holidays).
  • Luxembourg: figure is an estimate.
  • Netherlands: estimate based on an annual figure, from Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, CBS), of 1,744 hours per year (assuming 25.6 days annual leave and five public holidays)
  • Spain: figure refers to the iron and steel sector and is calculated from Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MTAS) collective bargaining statistics on average agreed annual hours (1,714.8 in 2004), on the assumption of a six-day week and 274 working days a year.
  • Sweden: recent collective agreements have provided for a proportion of paybill to be taken as paid leave, contributions to a working time account or cash, but there is no data on how these ‘working time deposits’ have affected working time.
  • UK: figure, from IDS (see note to table 1), refers to ‘engineering (including electronics)’.

Appendix 3

Back to table 3

Table 3 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Cyprus: figure (for 2004) from Cyprus Industrial, Commercial, Press-Printing and General Services Workers’ Trade Union (SEVETTYK-PEO).
  • Czech Republic: figure, from ISWC, refers to hours set by enterprise-level collective agreements (the more prevalent bargaining level); the figure for higher-level collective agreements signed by the ECHO Trade Union (Odborovy svaz ECHO, OS ECHO) was also 37.5.
  • Finland: figure refers to day work and two-shift work, figure for intermittent three-shift work was 36.1 hours and for uninterrupted three-shift work 34.6 hours.
  • Germany: figure, from the WSI collective agreement archive, applies to western Germany - the figure for eastern Germany was 40 hours.
  • Hungary: hours lower, typically 36 hours, in hazardous jobs.
  • Italy: estimate based on annual figure from Bank of Italy of 1,727 hours in 2004 (assuming 28 days annual leave and 12 public holidays).
  • Luxembourg: figure is an estimate.
  • Malta: figure (for 2004), from the chemical, energy, and printing section of the General Workers’ Union (GWU), applies to those working regular hours - 37.5 hours for shiftworkers.
  • Netherlands: figure from CBS.
  • Norway: night and shiftworkers work fewer hours.
  • Spain: figure calculated from MTAS collective bargaining statistics on average agreed annual hours (1,760.2 in 2004), on the assumption of a six-day week and 274 working days a year.
  • Sweden: recent collective agreements have provided for a proportion of paybill to be taken as paid leave, contributions to a working time account or cash, but there are no data on how these ‘working time deposits’ have affected working time.
  • UK: figure, from IDS (see note to figure 1 above), refers to ‘oil, chemicals and pharmaceuticals’.

Appendix 4

Back to table 4

Table 4 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Cyprus: figure from Cyprus Union of Bank Employees (ETYK).
  • Czech Republic: figure, from ISWC, refers to hours set by enterprise-level collective agreements (the more prevalent bargaining level) in 2004; the figure for higher-level collective agreements was 40.0 in 2005.
  • Italy: estimate based on (2004) annual figure from Bank of Italy of 1,597 hours (assuming 28 days annual leave and 12 public holidays).
  • Malta: estimate from Malta Union of Bank Employees.
  • Spain: figure calculated from MTAS collective bargaining statistics on average agreed annual hours in ‘banking and insurance’ (1,691.6 in 2004), on the assumption of a six-day week and 274 working days a year.
  • UK: figure, from IDS (see note to figure 1), refers to ‘finance’.

Appendix 5

Back to table 5

Table 5 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Cyprus: figure from SEVETTYK-PEO.
  • Czech Republic: figure, from ISWC, refers to hours set by enterprise-level collective agreements (the more prevalent bargaining level); the figure for higher-level collective agreements was 37.5-40.0 hours.
  • Germany: figure, from the WSI collective agreement archive, applies to western Germany - the figure for eastern Germany was 38.1 hours.
  • Italy: estimate based on annual figure (for 2004) from Bank of Italy of 1,708 hours (assuming 28 days annual leave and 12 public holidays).
  • Luxembourg: figure is an estimate.
  • Malta: figure, from the hospitality and food section of GWU, refers to a number of supermarkets where workers are represented by GWU (most retail outlets in Malta are non-unionised small family-run enterprises).
  • Netherlands: figure from CBS.
  • Spain: figure calculated from MTAS collective bargaining statistics on average agreed annual hours in ‘retailing and domestic repairs’ (1,785.5 hours in 2004), on the assumption of a six-day week and 274 working days a year.
  • UK: figure, from IDS (see note to figure 1), refers to ‘retail and distribution’.

Appendix 6

Back to table 6

Table 6 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

Austria: usual figure for local government employees; working time fixed by law or decrees, as almost all public sector employees are excluded from right to conclude collective agreements.

Cyprus: figure from Semi-government, Municipal and Local Authority Workers’ and Employees’ Trade Union Cyprus (SIDIKEK-PEO).

Germany: figure, from the WSI collective agreement archive, applies to western Germany - the figure for eastern Germany was 40 hours.

Italy: estimate based on (2004) annual figure from Bank of Italy of 1,448 hours (assuming 28 days annual leave and 12 public holidays); figure refers to public administration generally.

Latvia: set by law.

Lithuania: set by law.

Malta: figure refers to hours set by collective agreements for executive secretaries and clerical workers in local councils.

Portugal: as set by law.

Spain: figure calculated from MTAS collective bargaining statistics on average agreed annual hours in ‘public administration, defence and social security, extra-territorial organisations’ (1,606.8 hours in 2004), on the assumption of a six-day week and 274 working days a year.

Sweden: blue-collar workers in the municipal healthcare sector have a 37-hour week.

UK: figure, from IDS (see note to figure 1 above), refers to England and Wales only, except London, where there is a 36-hour week.

Appendix 7

Back to table 7

Table 7 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Austria: usual figure for civil servants; working time fixed by law or decrees, as almost all public sector employees are excluded from right to conclude collective agreements.
  • Bulgaria: data from sectoral affiliates of CITUB.
  • Cyprus: data from Pancyprian Union of Public Servants (PASYDY).
  • Czech Republic: as set by law.
  • Finland: the figure given is for administrative staff, other categories have a 38.3-hour week.
  • Germany: figure, from the WSI collective agreement archive, applies to western Germany - the figure for eastern Germany was 40 hours.
  • Greece: 40 hours is the general rule, but there are certain exemptions.
  • Italy: estimate based on (2004) annual figure from Bank of Italy of 1,448 hours (assuming 28 days annual leave and 12 public holidays); figure refers to public administration generally.
  • Latvia: as set by law.
  • Lithuania: as set by law.
  • Malta: figure is from public services employees section of GWU.
  • Poland: as stipulated by law.
  • Portugal: as set by law.
  • Spain: figure calculated from MTAS collective bargaining statistics on average agreed annual hours in ‘public administration, defence and social security, extra-territorial organisations’ (1,606.8 hours in 2004), on the assumption of a six-day week and 274 working days a year.
  • UK: civil service arrangements are decentralised; figure is average of range of 35-37 hours reported by IDS (see note to figure 1), though longer hours are found in parts of revenue and customs departments.

Appendix 8

Back to table 11

Table 11 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Austria: figures from Chamber of Labour (Arbeitskammer); figure for men is an estimate.
  • Belgium: figures from Statistics Belgium (Institut National de Statistique/Nationaal Instituut voor de Statistiek, INS/NIS) labour force survey.
  • Bulgaria: figures from National Statistics Institute (NSI) labour force survey; 2005 figures for first half of year.
  • Cyprus: figures, from Statistical Service of Cyprus labour force survey, refer to average actual weekly working hours.
  • Czech Republic: figures from Czech Statistical Office (Ceský statistický úrad, CSÚ).
  • Estonia: figures, from Estonian labour force survey, are for average number of hours worked per week.
  • Finland: figures from the Statistics Finland (Tilastokeskus) labour force survey.
  • France: figures from National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques, INSEE) labour force survey.
  • Germany: figure from Institute for Employment Research (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, IAB).
  • Ireland: figures from Central Statistical Office (CSO).
  • Italy: figures from Bank of Italy.
  • Latvia: figures, from the Central Statistical Bureau (Centrala statistikas parvalde, CSP) labour force survey, are for average hours worked per week in main job.
  • Lithuania: figures, from Statistics Lithuania (Lietuvos statistikos departamentas), are for third quarter each year.
  • Luxembourg: figures are estimates.
  • Malta: figures from National Statistics Office labour force survey; 2005 figures for July-September.
  • Netherlands: figures, from Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, CBS), include overtime.
  • Norway: figures are EIRO calculations based on Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyrå, SSB) labour force surveys and refer to the first quarter 2004 and first quarter 2005; figures refer to actual working hours, defined as ‘person-hours worked’, which include all actual working hours, including overtime (absence from work excluded from calculations), and include both dependent employees and self-employed.
  • Poland: figures, from Central Statistical Office (Glówny Urzad Statystyczny, GUS), refer to third quarter of each year.
  • Romania: figures from Institute of National Statistics (Institutul National de Statistica, INS) labour force survey; 2005 figures for first quarter.
  • Slovakia: figures, from Slovak Statistical Office (Štatistický úrad Slovenskej republiky, ŠÚ SR) labour force survey, refer to fourth quarter of 2004 and second quarter of 2005.
  • Slovenia: figures from Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (Statisticni urad Republike Slovenije, SURS) labour force survey.
  • Spain: figures calculated on basis of MTAS data on ‘effective annual working time’; 2005 figure extrapolated from first three quarters.
  • UK: figures from Office for National Statistics (ONS) hours and earnings survey.

Appendix 9

Back to table 13

Table 13 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Austria: as set by law, expressed as 30 working days, including Saturdays.
  • Bulgaria: estimate based on general provision of 20-24 days in collective agreements.
  • Czech Republic: figures, from ISWC and CMKOS, refer to leave (expressed as five weeks) set by 76.8% of enterprise-level collective agreements and by 82.3% of higher-level collective agreements signed by CMKOS affiliates.
  • Denmark: made up of five weeks annual leave, plus five days to be taken at employees’ own choice or paid instead.
  • Finland: 25 days (or 30 days including Saturdays) applies after one year’s service, 20 days (or 24 days including Saturdays) for employees with less service; some agreements provide for longer leave.
  • France: as set by law, expressed as 30 working days, including Saturdays; increases with service.
  • Germany: data from the WSI collective agreement archive.
  • Greece: mid-range of entitlements which vary from 20 to 25 days, depending on service.
  • Italy: figure calculated as four weeks’ leave, plus the mid-range of between five-10 days awarded as a form of working time reduction.
  • Luxembourg: figure is an estimate.
  • Netherlands: figure, from CBS, is for 2004.
  • Portugal: 24 or 25 days is the agreed norm, with the 25th day sometimes dependent on factors such as age and attendance.
  • Romania: calculated on basis of national and sectoral collective agreements.
  • Slovakia; figure is estimate, based on fact that - according to the Information System on Working Conditions, Trexima Bratislava - 25% of sectoral collective agreements signed for 2005 provided for one week’s leave above the statutory minimum.
  • Sweden: figure calculated as statutory 25 days, plus the mid-range of between five and 10 days additional leave awarded in most collective agreements.
  • UK: figure from IDS HR Study, ‘Hours and holidays 2005’, October 2005.

Appendix 10

Back to table 14

Table 14 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Austria: entitlement expressed as 30 working days, including Saturdays, increases by five days after 25 years’ service.
  • Cyprus: 25 days for those working a six-day week.
  • Czech Republic: entitlement expressed as four weeks.
  • Estonia: expressed as 28 calendar days - certain groups (such as people with disabilities) have a longer entitlement.
  • Finland: entitlement is two days’ leave (including Saturdays) per calendar month worked in first year of employment relationship, and 2.5 days per month thereafter.
  • France: entitlement expressed as 30 working days or five weeks.
  • Germany: entitlement expressed as 24 working days.
  • Greece: two additional days after three years’ service.
  • Italy: expressed as four weeks.
  • Latvia: expressed as four calendar weeks.
  • Lithuania: expressed as 28 calendar days - certain groups (such as people with disabilities and lone parents) have an entitlement of 35 calendar days.
  • Malta: expressed as four working weeks and four working days.
  • Netherlands: expressed as four times the agreed working week.
  • Poland: entitlement rises from 20 days to 26 days after 10 years of employment.
  • Slovakia: entitlement expressed as four weeks.
  • Slovenia: expressed as four weeks; entitlement increases for parents by one day a year for each child under the age of 15.
  • Spain: entitlement expressed as 30 calendar days.
  • UK: entitlement expressed as four weeks.

Appendix 11

Back to table 15

Table 15 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Denmark: figures from Danish Employers’ Confederation (Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, DA); because of movable public holidays the collectively agreed annual working hours may vary.
  • Finland: 1,686 hours if overtime and secondary jobs included.
  • France: 2004 figure from ACEMO (survey on labour activity and employment status); 2005 figure is estimate from Ministry of the Economy.
  • Germany: figures cover the whole of Germany; figure for western Germany was 1,643 in 2004 and 2005; figure for eastern Germany was 1,719 in 2004 and 2005; data from the WSI collective agreement archive.
  • Italy: data from Bank of Italy.
  • Netherlands: figure, from CBS, is for full-time employees (1,313 hours for all employees) and excludes overtime.
  • Romania: figures (which exclude overtime) are estimates based on provisions of national and sectoral agreements.
  • Spain: figures, from MTAS labour statistics, are for ‘effective annual working time’; 2005 figure is extrapolation of data for first three quarters.

Appendix 12

Back to table 17

Table 17 should be read in conjunction with the following notes:

  • Bulgaria: figures from NSI
  • Finland: figures from Statistics Finland.
  • Germany: figures from IAB
  • Hungary; figures from Central Statistical Office (Központi Statisztikai Hivatal, KSH)
  • Italy: data, from Istat, cover only large firms (500+ employees) in industry and services.
  • Malta: data from National Statistics Office.
  • Netherlands: figures from CBS.
  • Norway: data, from SSB, are for full-time employees only.
  • Portugal: figure from DGEEP.
  • Romania: data from INS.
  • Slovakia: data from ŠÚ SR.
  • Slovenia: figures from SURS.
  • Spain: data, from MTAS, refer to full-time workers
  • Sweden: data, from SCB, are for blue-collar workers in the private sector only.
  • UK: figures from ONS.
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