The latest data on the length of weekly working hours published by Eurostat (the statistical office of the European Parliament) shows that workers in Serbia have the longest working hours in Europe. Namely, according to the research published on April 12, which refers to the last quarter of 2021, the average weekly working time in Serbia was 42.1 hours.
It is important to emphasize that the statistics refers only to the officially employed and the time they spend on their “main jobs”, i.e. that the statistics neither includes the working hours of those who do not work under employment contracts, nor the working hours spent on additional jobs which a large number of people have. If we take this into account, we can rightly assume that the actual average working hours are even longer.
In the previous Eurostat survey, workers from Serbia held first place in terms of the number of weekly hours. You could read that in our country people worked an average of 43.5 hours per week.
Among the thirty or so countries whose data were taken into account, the Netherlands (30.9), Norway (32.6), and Austria (32.9) had the shortest working time, while the longest hours, besides Serbia, were in Romania (39.5), Bulgaria (39.3) and Greece (39.3).
As in most European countries working hours in Serbia, should, as a rule, be 40 hours a week, but employers have various options to extend the working day and exploit the labour force more. In some countries, trade unions and progressive political organizations are actively working on campaigns to shorten working hours, i.e. to introduce a four-day working week.
Translation from Serbian: Iskra Krstić
This article was ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in Serbian on Apr 27, 2022.