The introduction of a reduced 35-hour work week in the EU countries did not affect the increase or decrease in employment in the region, but significantly increased labor efficiency, and also contributed to the personal and professional development of workers, follows from the report of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (JRC), which I read "Evening Telegram".
The JRC analyzed an experimental reduction in work hours in 23 European countries, which was carried out in 1995-2007. Then the study participants worked 35-40 hours a week instead of 48 hours, while their salary remained at the same level.
The well-being of employees who work less time has increased dramatically in several indicators at once:
- Decreased stress levels and the likelihood of rapid burnout;
- Improved mental and physical health;
- Improved work-life balance.
At the same time, the long-term economic effect of reducing working hours has remained little studied, the JRC researchers state.
In the meantime, officially in the EU countries there is a directive of 2003, which provides:
- the duration of the working week should not exceed 48 hours;
- during the seven-day working week, the employee has the right to a continuous 24-hour break;
- daily rest of the employee - at least 11 hours;
- duration of annual leave - not less than 4 weeks;
- work at night should not exceed 8 hours per day.
Despite the pan-European regulation of “working time”, there are still noticeable differences in the control of this issue between EU countries, often not in favor of the employee, the authors of the study note.