Wednesday 26 September 2018

Feel like you work too many hours? Try working in these European countries

Irish people have some of the shortest working weeks in the EU

(stock image)
(stock image)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

It’s Sunday and you are already dreading the long week ahead in work, however for some people the working week ahead will be that bit longer than for others.

On average, a full-time employee in the EU works 40.3 hours per week in a usual working week.

However full-time employees in the UK spend the highest number of hours per week at their main job (42.3 hours), a full two hours more per week than the EU average.

Employees in the UK are followed by those working in Cyprus (41.7 hours per week), Austria (41.4 hours), Greece (41.2hours), and Poland and Portugal, where employees in both countries work an average of 41.1 hours per week.

Irish employees find themselves at the lower half of the scale, with employees here working an average of 39.1 hours per week, just below the EU average.

If you want to move to the country with the fewest average working hours per week in the EU, then pack your bags and head to Denmark, where employees work an average of 37.8 hours per week – the only country in Europe in which the normal number of working hours is less than 38.

The next shortest week is in Italy where employees work 38.8 hours per week, followed by the Netherlands and France, where employees in both countries work 39 hours a week on average.

Men generally have a longer working week than women, working on average 41 hours compared with 39.3 hours for women.

Meanwhile those in the mining and quarrying industry work the longest hours (42 hours), while the shortest working week is to be found in the education sector where employees work an average of 38.1 hours per week.

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