Romanians work longest hours in the EU, report says

Newsroom 25/06/2014 | 16:13

Romanian employees (full-time) worked the biggest number of hours last year, compared to the rest of the European Union, according to Coe-Rexecode Institute. Romania and Greece are the only countries in the European Union where the number of hours on the job spent in a year is higher than 2,000 for 2013 with 2,099 and 2,010 hours respectively.

In spite of the fact that full-time employed Romanians spend more hours on the job than any other EU nation, the number is actually decreasing from 2,103 hours in 2011 and 2012. The maximum was achieved in 2003, when Romanians worked on average 2,171 hours.

Romania and Greece are followed by Hungary, with 1,969 hours worked / year, Bulgaria and Croatia with 1,954 hours each. The country with the lowest number of hours spent on the job is France, with 1,661 hours, followed by Finland – 1,648 hours, and Sweden – 1,685 hours.

Romanians are also leaders when it comes to number of hours worked by part-time employees, with 1,272 hours, followed by Hungarians – 1,146 hours, polish – 1,074 hours and belgians – 1,073 hours. In Bulgaria, part-time employees worked on average 938 employees last year.

A particularity of Romania’s workforce is that freelancers work less than full-time employees. In most EU member states, the situation is reverse. Romanian freelancers worked on average 2,024 hours out of the year. Belgium is leader of the pack in this category with 2,659 hours, followed by Austria – 2,479 hours, Germany – 2,399 hours.

Skipping lunch

There are several explanations for Romanians’ work schedules being so much longer the the European average. 16 percent of employees skip lunch completely, which roughly translates to 1 in 6 employees, according to a 2012 study conducted by the European Food Project consortium.

By comparison, only 2 percent of Italian and French employees skip their lunch break, along with 5 percent of Czech employees, 0.7 percent of Swedes and 1.8 percent of Belgians.

Skipping on vacations

According to an Inscop Research study quoted by Digi 24, 44 percent of Romanian employees didn’t go on holiday at all last summer. Furthermore, only a third of employees actually went away, in the country or abroad.

Employees that have a contract for a determined period tend to be even less enthusiastic about going on holiday. For instance managers often give up their holiday and lower-ranking employees do the same as a result.

In this context, companies allow employees to sell their unused free days. A Bestjobs study shoes that 10 percent of companies in Romania give their employees the possibility to exchange vacation days between them, while 23 percent of companies give financial compensation at the end of the year to the employees that haven’t used up their legal vacation time.

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