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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 20 March, 2019

Guess who has the longest working week in EU…

Ireland doesn’t even make the top 20 of longest average working hours from April to June this year – but neither does Germany in a list that blows Merkel’s ‘lazy Greeks’ stereotype out of the water.

Image: normalityrelief via

REMEMBER THE UPROAR last month when German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested the Greeks, Spanish and Portugese don’t work as hard or as long as Germany?

Ms Merkel might want to take a look at figures released by the UK Office for National Statistics yesterday. The ‘Hours worked in the labour market – 2011′ publication lists the average hours worked by all employees in full and part-time employment. And guess what? When the two groups are averaged together, Greece has the longest working week of all the EU states. Germany, by comparison, comes 24th in the list.

Ireland comes second last in the list, at No. 25, with one of the shortest average weeks (35 hours) when both full and part-time workers are taken into account. The average EU state working week for the combined part- and full-time employee figures is 37.4 hours.

The average working week for full-time employees only in the EU is 41.6 hours. Ireland’s full-time workers have an average week of 39.7 working hours. Germany’s full-time employees do work harder than the EU average, with a 42-hour working week. But Greece’s average full-time working weeks is 43.7 hours – again, the highest average in the 27 EU states.

Average usual hours worked by all in employment, and full-time workers, April to June 2011, in the EU states:

Greece – All in employment: 42.2 Full-time employment only: 43.7

Czech Republic – All in employment: 41.2 Full-time employment only: 42.3

Bulgaria – All in employment: 40.9 Full-time employment only: 41.3

Poland – All in employment: 40.6 Full-time employment only: 42.2

Slovakia – All in employment: 40.5 Full-time employment only: 41.5

Romania – All in employment: 40.5 Full-time employment only: 41.0

Cyprus – All in employment: 40 Full-time employment only: 42.1

Slovenia – All in employment:39.6 Full-time employment only: 41.8

Hungary – All in employment: 39.4 Full-time employment only: 40.6

Latvia – All in employment: 39.2 Full-time employment only: 40.8

Portugal – All in employment: 39.1 Full-time employment only: 42.3

Malta – All in employment: 38.8 Full-time employment only: 41.4

Estonia – All in employment: 38.6 Full-time employment only: 40.8

Spain – All in employment: 38.4 Full-time employment only: 41.6

Lithuania – All in employment: 38.3 Full-time employment only: 39.7

France – All in employment: 38 Full-time employment only: 41.1

Austria – All in employment: 37.8 Full-time employment only: 43.7

Italy – All in employment: 37.6 Full-time employment only: 40.5

Finland – All in employment: 37.4 Full-time employment only: 40.3

Luxembourg – All in employment: 37 Full-time employment only: 40.5

Belgium – All in employment: 36.9 Full-time employment only: 41.7

Sweden – All in employment: 36.5 Full-time employment only: 40.9

UK – All in employment: 36.3 Full-time employment only: 42.7

Germany – All in employment: 35.6 Full-time employment only: 42.0

Ireland – All in employment: 35.0 Full-time employment only: 39.7

Denmark – All in employment: 33.8 Full-time employment only: 39.1

Netherlands – All in employment: 30.5 Full-time employment only: 40.9

Poll: Are the Irish a hard-working people? Vote here>

Read: Ireland might not have longest working hours but it’s the EU’s fifth most productive country>

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