High incidence of long working hours
The Household Labour Force Survey for 2005 reveals that, in the case of 41% of employees, the actual length of the working week was not fixed. Approximately 59.8% of employees work more than 45 hours a week. The variable and extra working hours differ depending on sector of the economy, occupation, area of residence and sex.
Legal length of working time
According to the Labour Code, the legal length of the working week in Romania is set at 40 hours, calculated as an average over a period of three months. Derogations from this provision are permitted in 11 sectors of the economy, provided that the average working week totals 40 hours over a 12-month period (RO0701039I).
In practice, the data of the Household Labour Force Survey (Ancheta privind forţa de muncă în gospodării, AMIGO), carried out by the Institute of National Statistics (Institutul Naţional de Statistică, INS), show that the annual average working week length varies; the variable and extra working hours differ according to sector, occupation, area of residence and sex.
Differences in working hours
In 2005, only 62% of employees observed the legal 40-hour working week. For 3.1 million people, representing 38% of all employees, the length of the working week was not standardised. Out of this group, 1.87 million people worked more than 45 hours a week; this corresponds to 22.7% of total employment.
Gender and location
The survey recorded that 23.8% of all employees in rural areas worked over 45 hours a week compared with 22% of workers in urban areas. It also revealed a higher incidence of long working weeks among men (26.7%) compared with women (17.9%) (Table1).
|Working week length|
|Less than 35 hours||40 hours||Over 45 hours|
|Workers in urban areas||4.6||72.1||22.0|
|Workers in rural areas||22.2||47.9||23.8|
Source: INS, 2006
Sector of economy
Looking at the distribution of employees working more than 45 hours a week in the various sectors of the economy, the survey shows that the incidence of longer working weeks prevails in agriculture, hunting and forestry (28.4%), manufacturing (19.4%), wholesale and retail trade (18.3%) and construction (9%) (Table 2).
|Number of people||Distribution by sector||Percentage of sector employment|
|Agriculture, hunting and forestry||531,700||28.4%||24.8%|
|Mining and quarrying||13,100||0.7%||11.0%|
|Electricity, gas, steam and water supply||22,400||1.2%||11.8%|
|Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods||342,100||18.3%||36.5%|
|Hotels and restaurants||57,500||3.1%||38.7%|
|Transport, storage and communications||127,100||6.8%||28.7%|
|Real estate, renting and business activities||46,900||2.5%||20.9%|
|Public administration and defence; compulsory social security services||59,600||3.2%||11.5%|
|Health and social work||59,000||3.2%||16.8%|
|Other community, social and personal service activities||51,000||2.7%||22.9%|
Source: INS, 2006
Differences by occupation
The distribution of people working more than 45 hours a week differs according to occupation, with long hours most prevalent among agricultural and fishery workers (25%), craft and related trades workers (16.8%) and people working in commercial businesses (15.4%) (Table 3).
|Number of people||Distribution by occupation|
|Legislators, senior officials and company managers||123,200||6.6%|
|Technicians and associate professionals||117,000||6.3%|
|Service workers and shop and market sales workers||288,600||15.4%|
|Skilled agricultural and fishery workers||466,400||25.0%|
|Craft and related trades workers; plant and machine operators and assemblers||314,000||16.8%|
|Others, of which:||418,400||22.4%|
Source: INS, 2006
Two labour markets coexist in Romania: one that is typical of urban areas while the other is more typical of rural areas. At national level, full-time employees account for 71.4% of total employment, which represents 92.6% of workers in urban areas and only 42.1% of workers in rural areas. A quarter of the people working more than 45 hours a week currently work in agriculture. Many of these workers are self-employed or fall under the category of unpaid family workers (RO0702099I).
Luminiţa Chivu, Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy