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Which EU countries have the longest working weeks?

Which EU countries have the longest working weeks?
By Selina Sykes
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At 42.3 hours, Greece has the longest working week, while the Netherlands has the shortest at 30.3 hours.


An EU study has revealed which Europeans have the longest and shortest working weeks.

The longest working week was in Greece (42.3 hours) and the shortest in the Netherlands (30.3 hours) including both full-time and part-time employment.

The average working week was 37.1 hours in 2016, but goes up to 40.3 hours when only full-time work is considered.

When only full-time employees were taken into account, those in the United Kingdom spent the most time at work (42.3 hours), followed by Cyprus (41.1 hours), Austria (41.4 hours) and Greece (41.2 hours).

Denmark (37.8 hours), Italy (38.8 hours), the Netherlands and France (39 hours) have the shortest full-time working weeks.

Countries with longest full-time working weeks

United Kingdom: 42.3 hours

Cyprus: 41.7 hours

Austria; 41.4 hours

Greece: 41.2 hours

Portugal: 41.1 hours

Poland: 41.1 hours

Countries with shortest full-time working weeks

Finland: 39.1 hours

Ireland: 39.1 hours

Netherlands: 39 hours 

France: 39 hours

Italy: 38.8 hours

Denmark: 37.8 hours

The study also looked at the rate of stable employment in EU member states.


Romania, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic have the highest amount of employees in stable jobs.

An EU study has revealed which countries have the highest amount of people employed in stable jobs.

Romania, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Germany came out on top, while Croatia, France, Spain, Poland and Slovenia had the highest numbers of people in short-term employment.

The Eurostat looked at the number of people with work contracts that lasted for less than three months.

The study using employment figures from 2016 found that 2.3 percent of employees in the EU were in short-term work.


It found that short-term contracts are most common in agriculture, forestry and fishery, affecting 8.1% of employees.

Precarious employment in the EU in 2016 (% of employees)

Croatia: 8.4%

France: 4.8%

**Spain: 4.7% **

Poland: 4.5%


Slovenia: 4.5%

Finland: 4.4%

Sweden: 3.7%

Belgium: 3.5%

Italy: 3.2%


Austria: 1%

Lithuania: 0.95%

Bulgaria: 0.7%

Ireland: 0.7%

Cyprus: 0.7%


Germany: 0.5%

Czech Republic: 0.4%

United Kindgom: 0.4%

Romania: 0.4%

The proportion of people in precarious employment was also high in EU candidate countries Montenegro and Turkey.


The survey found neither men nor women were more likely to have short-term contracts.

In 2016 there were 188.4 million employees in the EU and 32.7 million self-employed people. 

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