New Challenges could disrupt working time stability in Europe
Sheila Pantry OBE
Working time has remained relatively stable in the 21st century but socio-demographic challenges and the ubiquitous nature of new technologies may see significant changes in working time in the near future, according to a new report from Eurofound, the EU Agency based in Dublin. Working time developments in the 21st century reveals, for the first time, the development of working time for full-time workers from a long-term perspective, examining the periods before and after the economic crisis.
The report shows that, although there has been a general convergence in working time between the EU15 and newer Member States, working times continue to vary widely in Europe, with a number of different regimes in place to set working times. A clear split can be seen in this regard, with collective bargaining playing an important role in the older Member States, whereas in central and eastern Member States working time standards are more likely to be established through legislation.
The way working time is set has an impact on average working hours and the phenomenon of ‘working time drift’ – the difference between agreed hours and the usual working time. Negotiated regimes, where collective bargaining plays a stronger role, generally results in shorter working time and more compliance with the agreed working hours. Throughout Europe men continue to work more paid hours than women. This gap is most pronounced in newer Member States, although it has been narrowing in recent years.
Despite the profound impact of the financial crisis on the European labour market the agreed working time has remained stable between 1999 and 2014, with few dramatic changes in the average agreed working time in most Member States. One notable exception was in the area of public administration, where changes were introduced that resulted in increased working hours in Greece, Portugal and Spain. These measures were adopted in reaction to the developing economic crises in these countries.
Socio-demographic challenges, increased female participation in the labour force, and the continued adoption of new technologies in the workplace are some of the factors that have triggered discussions about working time flexibility. Some social partners have argued that these developments require a reduction in working hours to improve work-life balance and prevent health issues. However, new technologies and a fast changing economic environment have made working life more pervasive, with employers increasingly emphasising the need for working-time flexibility. Reconciling these two perspectives on working time poses an important challenge for the future.
Read the blog piece of Jorge Cabrita, Eurofound Research Officer, on the important role of collective bargaining in establishing working time standards in Europe.
OSH UPDATE + FIRE
Subscribe to OSH UPDATE + FIRE for a life changer in how you find the best, latest and most comprehensive collection of occupational health and safety information.
It is easily searchable by keywords, titles, journal names, standard number, authors, organisations, and will keep you and your colleagues alerted to hot topics such as the health risks of nanotechnology, preparedness and business continuity, risk assessment, corporate killing and corporate social responsibility, bio-terrorism, management of road risks, all aspects of fire and related fire topics, workplace health and safety and much more. Arguably the largest electronic collection in the world in these very wide subject areas from worldwide sources. There is a special collection of OSH legislation, guidance and advice within OSH UPDATE and FIRE! The databases and contents are from worldwide class organisations such as the US NIOSH, the UK Health and Safety Executive, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and many more similar organisations.
This time of the year is a good time for all organisations worldwide to review their health and safety goals and decide on the training or re-training that is needed for all levels of staff and update their information resources.
Check out these successful efforts and introduce them into your workplace!
It is always good to keep researching and finding out if there are services and other ways of keeping up-to-date in this fast changing world of ours. Time is precious and many people are really stretched in their jobs and find it difficult to keep ahead in current knowledge that they should have for their jobs. So help is at hand for those working in health, safety and fire and fire related industries which are brought together in an easy to use web service entitled OSH UPDATE + FIRE www.oshupdate.com that is constantly updated.
If you need further information on all aspects of the development of health and safety in Great Britain / UK and in any other country over the decades then have a look at OSH UPDATE + FIRE which is a unique electronic collection of information sources collected together in one place – www.oshupdate.com! Available for a 15 day free trial!
More information on all aspects of fire and health and safety at work – not only from Europe but from around the World, can be found by checking out the constantly updated OSH UPDATE + FIRE electronic collection of 26 information databases containing over 1,129,000 records with over 97,500 full text documents.
Information seekers will find a wealth of authoritative and validated advice from these global sources. Full text documents and references on research results, best practices, case studies, journal articles, reports, advice and guidance, legislation, accidents and incident reports and much more are in OSH UPDATE + FIRE.
Why not try OSH UPDATE + FIRE for yourself? Take a 15-day free trial. Why be without quality OSH and FIRE information?
Contact Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd. for 15 day FREE NO OBLIGATION trials that are very cost-effective and easy to use. Why pay more for information? Go to: Then try these long established Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.
For a 15 DAY FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIAL contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | or fill in the Interest form www.sheilapantry.com/interest.html