Working time arrangement in the EU from the viewpoint of the employees: Results from the ad hoc labour market surveys
Despite the general improvement in the EU’s labour market performance, there are still large differences between individual countries. And there are differences in some fields between the pre-enlargement EU Member States and the recently acceded Member States. One explanation for these differences may be the predominance of former socialist countries with centrally planned economies among new member states. The article deals with the results of the ad hoc labour market survey of the European Commission. One of its subjects is the flexible use of labour. The main findings are: A working week of between 35 and 40 hours, distributed more or less evenly over the five working days, is the rule for the majority of employees. Part-time work is still dominated by women. Overtime is relatively common for most of the full-time employed. When asked if they would be prepared to accept more flexible working time, the interviewees do not favour all possible types of flexibility to the same extent. The most favoured model is either lengthening or shortening the regular working day. In the former socialist countries people work longer hours and they are more flexible with respect to how far they have to travel and the hours they have to work in order to keep their job.