Working time in 2021–2022

The most important changes in the regulation of working time in Europe in 2021 and 2022 were related to the transposition of two European directives: the Work–life Balance Directive and the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive. The reduction of working time and more specifically the four-day working week have been increasingly debated in many EU Member States. In 2022, the average collectively agreed working week in the EU stood at 38.1 hours. Of the sectors analysed, agreed working hours were shortest in public administration, at around 37.7 hours – still longer than the overall average – and longest in the retail sector, at 38.5 hours. The average collectively agreed paid annual leave entitlement stood at 24.3 days in the EU, and was higher in the Member States that were part of the EU prior to its 2004 enlargement (EU14), at 25.3 days, than in the other Member States, at only 20.9 days. If working collectively agreed hours, full-time workers in the EU27 would have worked, on average, 1,714 hours in 2022, with an average of 1,682 hours in the EU14 and 1,820 hours in the other Member States.

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