IRELAND HAS ONE of the sharpest differences in working hours between men and women in the EU.
That is the finding of Eurofound – the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.
The survey of agreed working hours for 2013 found that while Ireland has the eighth highest agreed working hours in the EU, we actually work the sixth fewest number of hours.
In 2013, actual hours worked by men in full-time employment continued to exceed those of their female counterparts in all EU member states and Norway.
Across the EU28, men worked on average two hours more than women.
The gap is wider in the EU15 (2.3 hours) than in the other 13 (1.4 hours), with the biggest gaps in Ireland and the UK (3.3 and 3.4 hours more, respectively), in Italy (2.8 hours) and in Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, and Norway (between two and 2.4 hours more).
In total, Irish workers are due to work 1,778.4 hours a year, based on statutory minimums. That is above the average for both the EU 15 and EU 28 and over 200 hours a year more than France and 120 hours a year more than Germany.
However, the Germans’ actual working hours are the fourth-highest in Europe.
The major difference across Europe is in the level of leave to which workers are generally entitled, the report points out.
All 28 countries studied have a statutory minimum period of paid annual leave, and the average figure for the EU28, including paid leave and public holidays, stood at 35.3 days.
In Ireland, that figure is 32, while Germans get 40.