Brits Work An Extra 2.5 Weeks Every Year Compared With The Rest Of The EU

Doesn't mean we're more productive though 😫

Brits in the UK work longer hours than people in the rest of the EU because of a “long-hours culture”, according to new new analysis from the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The TUC said full-time employees in Britain worked an average of 42 hours a week in 2018, nearly two hours more than the EU average – and equivalent to an extra two and a half weeks a year.

But it said productivity wasn’t boosted by these longer hours – and claimed workers in other economies were “much more productive for each hour they work”.

For example, it claimed, full-time employees in Germany work 1.8 hours a week less than those in the UK but are 14.6% more productive. And in Denmark – the EU country with the shortest hours – workers put in over four hours less than UK workers, but productivity in Denmark is 23.5% higher.

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The TUC has previously called for a four-day week – a way of working that some innovative companies are already trialling. HuffPost tracked down four companies that offer a four day week – for full time pay last year.

Chris Downs, co-founder of design tech company Normally runs a four-day working week, which he said had enabled dads in the office to spend more time with their kids.

“That for me beats profits. It’s our proudest achievement,” he told HuffPost UK at the time.

And Rich Leigh, founder of Gloucester and Manchester based public relations firm Radioactive, also reduced the hours of his 11-strong team from a five-day week to a four-day week in September – without reducing employees’ pay. He said he did so to give them a better work/life balance.

The TUC claims long hours are “robbing workers of a decent home life and time with their loved ones” and that “overwork, stress and exhaustion have become the new normal.”

“Britain’s long hours culture is nothing to be proud of,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said. “It’s time for a change. Other countries have shown that reducing working hours isn’t only good for workers, it can boost productivity.

“As new technology changes our economy, the benefits should be shared by working people. That means shorter hours, more time with family and friends, and decent pay for everyone.”