What are the average working hours and work schedule around the world?

Average Working Hours Around the World

How many hours an individual can actually work depends not only on the willingness to work but also on the laws related to working hours in that particular area.

Working hours can vary from country to country and even from one state to another. In this article, we will cover the average working hours in different parts of the world and the minimum age requirements for labor.

Talking about the US, a person can work on different schedules whichever may suit them. To put it in perspective, although the “9 to 5” schedules do exist in certain industries, the trend of working before and beyond these hours has become more popular.

In the United States, it is rather easy for a person to find a most fitting work hour schedule. Because businesses in America do not restrict the workers to certain working hours, one can work as much as he or she likes. Many people in America work as much as 70 to 80 hours a week in order to meet their needs.

As for the working hours for teenagers, there are certain laws imposed by the government. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), teenagers in the US are subject to age requirements. The minimum age required for working in the US is fourteen.

The working hours for minors of 14 and 15 are limited to 40 hours a week. As a 16 or 17 year old teenager, you are allowed to work for up to 48 hours a week. The laws related to working hours of the young people may differ in different states. So it is necessary for a person first to visit the labor laws of their particular state.

Statistics show that in Canada, the working hours vary from province to province. Alberta has the most prolonged working hours of 39 hours a week. Depending on your sex, age and where you live, the working hours in Canada can vary significantly.

The working hours across Europe may vary significantly. As per the OECD data, the average working hours ascend when moving from Eastern Europe towards the Western Europe.

Eastern European countries which have the longest working hours include Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece and other nearby countries.

On the other hand, the data on Western European countries showed that the average working hours were significantly lesser than the Eastern Europe. In Eastern Europe, we see people working even more than those in the US.

Whereas in the Western Europe, in France particularly, the average working hours set by the government are considerably lower than the US. In France, the government has imposed a 35 hour per work week schedule. The employees either get paid overtime or get compensated in the form of extra holidays. Although many people support this law, there are those who do not appreciate it. The norm in France is to generally work longer hours than this restriction.

According to the OECD data, the maximum working hours in Australia are capped at 38 hours per week. With the provision of overtime allowance and justified extra hours, Australians are allowed to work more than the 38 hours imposition.

Apart from that, Australian businesses have a prevalent norm for flexible timings. Many students and non-student workers tend to mold their work schedule as they deem fit. With variations in working hours such as a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift and a 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift, it has been made fairly easy for the workforce to maintain a healthy and happy life.

In Ireland, working hours for minors start from 35 hours per week, for those who are 14 years of age or above. Those who have crossed 15 years of age but are yet to turn 16, are allowed to work during their school, but that is capped at 8 hours per week.

As for those minors, who are on approved work experience or on an educational program, they are allowed to work a daily shift of 8 hours, five days a week.

Under no circumstances in Ireland, can a minor be exposed to occupational hazards. Also, the summer holidays are to be granted to the minors who are working full-time.

The law demands that the employer gives at least 21 days of rest to the minors when their summer holidays start. Another limitation is that the minors cannot be forced work in the odd hours such as before eight in the morning or after eight at night.

In most of the Asian countries, the working hours are much stretched.

Asian countries generally have an impression of having the most stressing working-hour schedule. In Japan, for instance, the government had to take serious steps towards ensuring that the mental and physical health of the employees does not deteriorate further. Over the past years, we have heard several incidents of Japanese employees committing suicide due to work pressure.

Even after all the efforts made to encounter this problem, the prevalent culture in Japan is still to work more than 60 to 70 hours a week.

It is also important to note here that in other Asian countries such as India and Pakistan, the average working hours vary from business to business.

In banks, the employees are faced with huge pressure, and they sit for long hours to meet their daily targets.

Apart from that, there are employers who still follow the 8-hour work shift schedule. It depends on the industry and the culture of the organization as well. Moreover, because India and Pakistan are the hubs for outsourced IT services, the work schedule of several IT houses are designed according to the business hours of the West. Therefore, it is very normal for the employees to be working late night shifts of 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. or 3 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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