The Future of Work Hours-the European View

Torbjörn ÅKERSTEDT, Göran KECKLUND
2005 Industrial Health  
In Europe the way work hours are handled varies between different countries. However, there are some issues that dominate the discussion in Europe and seem representative for what is happening. One such is the reduction of working hours-which was attempted in several countries but which now seems to be backfiring-probably related to the competition from countries outside Europe. Another area is compressed work hours-the drive towards maximizing the hours per work day in order to increase the
more » ... ber of days off. The health effects are debated-some find clear positive effects. A third area is company oriented flexible work hours, permitting the employer to make moderate changes in work hours when needed. The health impacts have not been evaluated but the loss of individual influence at work is obvious. In some parts of Europe self-determined work hours have been tried with very positive effects. The EU work hour directive is intended to provide uniformity but permits a counterproductive "opting out", creating problems of imbalance.
doi:10.2486/indhealth.43.80 pmid:15732308 fatcat:w4rb26odpfei3e2evx7qe2ka2u