In the EU, full-time employees in Romania reported the longest actual weekly working hours in their main jobs in 2013 – 41.2 hours, the same as in 2012, almost two hours above the the EU28 average (39.5 hours), according to a study by Eurofound.


They were followed by employees in Luxembourg (41 hours), the UK (40.8 hours), Germany (40.4 hours), Portugal (40.3 hours), Bulgaria and Greece (both 40.1 hours). Employees in France worked the shortest hours (37.4 hours). This was 3.8 hours less or the equivalent to 4.8 weeks a year by their counterparts in Romania.

In ten of the 13 countries that joined the EU since 2004, the number of hours worked per week was above the EU average of 39.5 hours. Therefore, among the 13 countries, only Hungary (39.1 hours), Malta (39.2 hours) and Slovakia (39.3 hours) had a lower work schedule.

Across the EU28, in 2013, men worked on average two hours more than women. Data excluded second jobs or auxiliary activities, focusing on main job activity.

The ‘actual hours worked’ in the reference week are the hours the person spent in work activities during that week. Work activities include production activities, ancillary activities, short breaks, and education and training necessary for successfully carrying out the job tasks. Travel time between home and the place of work, main meal breaks, absences from work within the working period for personal reasons, and education and training hours not necessary for carrying out the job tasks are excluded.

When it comes to annual working time, Romania is again in the lead, along with Poland, Hungary and Estonia, with 1840 annual hours.

In order to calculate an annual estimate for working time, data for the average collectively agreed normal weekly hours is multiplied by a five-day working week for 52 weeks a year. From this total annual figure, the average collectively agreed annual paid leave is subtracted, in Romania’s case 240 hours (21 days of annual leave + 9 days public holidays).

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency, whose role is to provide knowledge in the area of social and work-related policies. Eurofound was established in 1975 to contribute to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe.

Natalia Martian