Way back in the 19th century working hours were being looked at due to the concern about worker’s health and also providing workers adequate time outside of their daily job time. Today the regulations regarding total work hours still remain in a number of industries.
Lately regulations have changed to provide a diversification of workers hours with the goal of progressing flexibility. These days employers often provide employees with the ability to average out their work hours and with an aim to achieve workers’ family needs.
In Germany most work 38 hour and trending towards the possibly of 35 hours. A strong trend in Germany is work sharing programs with workers having shorter hours. Today most wage agreements provide holiday leave of six weeks or more. Germany also has a generous number of holidays in comparison to other countries. There are more public holidays in Germany than in any other European country.
Many small business owners are finding the economy is harder and they too are being forced into longer 50 – 70 hour segment. Today we are witnessing more and more part time workers however this is a frequently a reflection of work availability rather than employment offers.
In the Netherland in the 1990’s the norm of 36 hours was introduced. The four day week is nearly standard, especially among working mums. According to Dutch government statistics just under 90% of employed mothers worked 34 hours. About 12% of fathers also work a shortened workweek.
A law passed in 2000 also gives workers the right to reduce their hours to a part-time schedule and receive health-care and pro-rata benefits. Overall, the entire workforce averages around 29 hours a week- the lowest of any industrialized nation.
Full time working Australians, on the other hand, put in 38 hours but surveys show most put in way over 38 hours. The Bureau of Statistics states about 75% of Australia's full-time workers put in more than 40 hours per week. 20% of full time workers work longer than 50 hours and 5 % of full time workers work more than 70 hours (often the mining and construction industry).
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