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Factsheet:

Working hours and time off work

Resource summary

This factsheet was last updated in February 2014.

Trends in UK working hours

According to the Office for National Statistics, full-time workers average around 39.1 hours per week (including overtime) and part-time workers average around 18.1 hours per week.

Our Megatrends report Are we working harder than ever? found that although employees feel they are working harder, it is not because they are working longer hours. Average hours worked per year have been falling for decades and the average working week for a full-time employee has fallen since 1998. The proportion of employees that usually work over 45 hours each week has fallen from 26% in 1997 to under 20% in 2013.

However, by EU standards this is a high proportion of ‘long hours’ workers, though other developed countries such as Australia, Japan and the United States have more than the UK. A recent report confirms that the UK is amongst the countries that work the longest hours.

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