High incidence of non-standard working hours

The household labour force survey shows that, in 2005, 31.7% of employed persons worked in the evening, 11.8% worked nights, 56.9% on Saturdays and 30.1% on Sundays. Of the 5.2 million people who worked on Saturdays, 46.6% were employed in agriculture and mining, 32.7% worked in services and 20.7% were in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

Incidence of non-standard working time

The National Institute of Statistics (Institutul Naţional de Statistică, INS) conducts a household labour force survey on a quarterly basis entitled Labour Force in Romania. Employment and unemployment (Forţa de muncă în România. Ocupare şi şomaj, AMIGO). Since 2002, the survey questionnaire has been redesigned to conform to Eurostat requirements for data sources. The face-to-face interview survey sample includes more than 28,000 households and the margin of error is 3%. The extended annual data are based on the mathematical average of the quarterly data.

The household labour force survey for 2005 indicated a significant incidence of non-standard working time schedules. About 5.6 million workers – that is, 61.3% of the 9.1 million total employed in Romania – declared that they had worked evenings or nights and/or Saturdays or Sundays.

The most common non-standard working time schedule includes work on Saturdays, accounting for 56.9% of the total number of workers. Some 31.7% of the employed population worked in the evening, 30.1% worked on Sundays and 11.8% worked night shifts (Table 1).

Table 1: Incidence of non-standard working time schedules, 2005
AMIGO data show that, in 2005, in Romania, 2.9 million persons worked evenings (31.7% of workers), one million persons worked nights (11.8%), 5.2 million persons (56.9%) worked Saturdays and 2.8 million persons (30.1%) worked Sundays.
Schedule type No. of persons affected (000s) % of total employment
Evenings 2,896.7 31.7
Nights 1,082.2 11.8
Saturdays 5,205.3 56.9
Sundays 2,755.9 30.1

Source: AMIGO, Bucharest, INS, 2006

Sectoral impact

Agriculture, forestry and extractive industries (together sometimes referred to as the primary sector) account for the highest proportion of workers (44.5%) who found themselves having to work evenings, nights, Saturdays and/or Sundays. At the same time, 32.6% of workers in services (the tertiary sector) have to work such hours, while 22.9% of those in manufacturing and construction (the secondary sector) have non-standard working time schedules.

The distribution of non-standard working time schedules by sector reveals the following:

  • the primary and tertiary sectors account for more or less the same number of evening workers – over 37% each;
  • the tertiary sector accounts for the highest proportion of night shift workers, at over 54%;
  • Saturday and Sunday workers are to be found mainly in the primary sector, at 46.6% and 48.6% respectively (Table 2).
Table 2: Sectoral distribution of workers with non-standard working time schedules (%)
In 2005, AMIGO data indicate an uneven sectoral distribution of workers with non-standard working schedules. In the services sector, manufacturing and construction a high proportion of workers work nights (54.3% and 35.5% respectively), while Saturday and Sunday workers are to be found mainly in agriculture and mining (46.6% and 48.6% respectively).
  Agriculture, forestry and extractive industries Manufacturing and construction Services
Total 44.5 22.9 32.6
Evenings 37.6 24.9 37.5
Nights 10.2 35.5 54.3
Saturdays 46.6 20.7 32.7
Sundays 48.6 11.8 39.6

Source: AMIGO, Bucharest, INS, 2006

Influence of area of residence

In 2005, the distribution of total employment by area of residence was relatively well balanced: 53.4% of employed persons lived in urban areas and 46.6% lived in rural areas.

Of the total rural employment, 70.4% of people worked on Saturdays, 37.7% on Sundays, 34.6% worked in the evening and only 7.6% worked on night shifts. In urban areas, the proportion of workers with non-standard working time schedules was significantly lower than in rural areas. Night workers were an exception in this regard: in urban areas they were double the number and percentage as in rural areas (Table 3).

Table 3: Incidence of non-standard working time schedules, by area of residence, 2005
In 2005, according to AMIGO, the incidence of non-standard working schedules varies greatly by area of residence. The most significant differences appear in the case of people working Saturdays (70.4% of workers in rural and 45.2% in urban areas) and nights (7.6% in rural, compared with 15.4% in urban areas).
No. of persons affected (000s) % in urban employment No. of persons affected (000s) % in rural employment
  Urban Rural
Total employment 4,888.5 100.0 4,258.1 100.0
Evenings 1,422.7 29.1 1,474.0 34.6
Nights 754.9 15.4 327.4 7.6
Saturdays 2,209.6 45.2 2,995.7 70.4
Sundays 1,151.9 23.6 1,604.0 37.7

Source: AMIGO, Bucharest, INS, 2006

Gender differences

In 2005, men accounted for 54.8% of total employment while women represented 45.2% of those employed. Some 59.5% of male workers and 53.8% of female workers worked on Saturdays. Evening workers accounted for a third of total employment, with 33.6% of men and 29.3% of women working these non-standard hours, while 31.4% of men and 28.6% of women worked on Sundays. The widest gender discrepancy in this regard appears in the case of workers doing night shifts, affecting 14.6% of men, compared with just 8.5% of women (Table 4).

Table 4: Gender distribution of workers with non-standard working time schedules, 2005
According to AMIGO, in 2005, 33.6% of male workers and 29.3% of female workers worked evenings, while 14.6% men and 8.5% of women did night shifts. Some 59.5% of men and 53.8% of women worked Saturdays, and 31.4% of men and 28.6% of women worked on Sundays.
No. of persons affected (000s) % of men employed No. of persons affected (000s) % of women employed
  Men Women
Total employment 5,011.2 100.0 4,135.4 100.0
Evenings 1,685.3 33.6 1,211.4 29.3
Nights 730.1 14.6 352.1 8.5
Saturdays 2,980.4 59.5 2,224.9 53.8
Sundays 1,573.9 31.4 1,182.0 28.6

Source: AMIGO, Bucharest, INS, 2006

Commentary

In the primary and secondary sectors, night shifts as well as working on Saturdays and Sundays mainly result from the demands of the natural cycle in the case of agriculture or technical demands in the more industrial areas. However, the higher incidence of night shifts or work on Saturdays and Sundays in the tertiary sector is mainly due to economic reasons and the higher wages on offer by working non-standard schedules.

The survey is only available in Romanian and as a printed edition.

Luminiţa Chivu, Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy

Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Eurofound welcomes feedback and updates on this regulation

Add new comment