09/08/2006

Workers in Europe benefit from more holiday entitlements

The amount of collectively agreed annual leave - holidays - for workers in
Europe varies widely, from 33 days in Sweden to 20 days in Cyprus and Slovenia,
according to the annual update on working time development in Europe from the
Foundation's European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO). The average
entitlement across the former EU15 countries and Norway stands at 26.8 days,
showing a slight increase every year since 2000 when it was 25.6 days.

Workers in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and France have 25 days each: a
week less than their Danish and German counterparts (and closer to a fortnight
less than in Sweden). Meanwhile, workers in Greece (23 days) fared better than
those in Bulgaria (22 days), Slovakia (21.3 days), Cyprus (20 days) and
Slovenia (20 days), where workers had to work a fortnight longer than in
Germany and Denmark, and almost three weeks longer than in Sweden. Average
collectively agreed annual leave exceeds the statutory minimum by at least four
days in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway,
Romania, Sweden and the UK.

Workers in the 10 new EU Member States work, on average, 101 hours a year
(nearly 6%) longer than their counterparts in the former EU15 countries, the
new EIRO overview reveals. This works out at equivalent to working over two and
a half weeks a year more than their fellow EU workers. In the EU25, the average
collectively agreed annual working time was 1,748.4 hours. In the former EU15
countries, it was 1,707.8 hours, compared to 1,808.8 hours in the new EU Member
States. However, annual working time in Greece and Ireland is similar to the
average for the new Member States, while that in Cyprus and the Czech Republic
is closer to the average for the former EU15 countries.
The longest average annual working hours in the European Union are in Hungary,
Latvia, Lituania, Estonia, Slovenia and Poland, while the shortest are in
France, Denmark and Germany.

The EIRO report, or update, also looks at statutory working time and leave
limits, actual working hours and overtime. It provides an overview of the
duration of working time - as set by collective agreements and legislation - in
the European Union, Norway and two acceding countries (Bulgaria and Romania).
The overview also provides the weekly working hours for full-time workers as
set by collective bargaining in six sectors selected to represent manufacturing
industry (metalworking and chemicals), services (banking and retail) and the
public sector (local government and the central civil service).

Further info


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions