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Working time trends and developments in Europe 1

  • Jon C. Messenger
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    The objective of this paper is to summarise what is known about key trends and developments in working time across Europe. The European Region analysed in this paper includes not only the 27 current member states of the European Union (EU), but extends even beyond its borders. This paper review trends and patterns in working hours in the broadest range of countries possible given data limitations (especially outside the EU), with a focus on: average weekly hours of work and the proportion of workers working 'excessively long hours' (defined as usual working hours of 48 or more per week); developments regarding one unique form of working time arrangement, part-time work, with a focus on the incidence of part-time work in each country, changes in this incidence over time, the female share of part-time employment and issues related to the quality of part-time jobs; and finally considers trends in the organisation of working time across Europe, with a focus on the incidence of non-standard work schedules (e.g. night work and weekend work) and shift work, as well as the extent to which various types of flexible working time arrangements are being deployed in individual enterprises. Finally, the paper presents some policy suggestions within a broad framework designed to advance the International Labour Organisation (ILO) concept of decent work in the area of working time. Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 295-316

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:2:p:295-316
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