Most employees do not want to work longer hours

07/11/2006 14:00

Four out of five employees in the Netherlands are content with their weekly working hours. Full-time employees are more often satisfied with their working hours than part-time workers. People working only a few hours in part-time jobs would like to work more hours; people aged over fifty would prefer to work less.

Most employees content with hours

In 2005 6.1 million employees in the Netherlands had a job of at least twelve hours a week. Most of them, 82 percent, were satisfied with their working hours. About 10 percent said they wanted to work less or stop altogether. Nearly 8 percent said they would like to work more hours.

Full-time workers do not want more hours

Eleven percent of all full-time employees wanted to work for fewer hours per week, and only 3 percent of those working 35-39 hours a week wanted to work for 40 hours or more. This means that hardly any full-time employees with reduced working hours in the form of compensatory days leave wanted to return to a 40-hour working week without these days leave.

Employees who want to work longer or shorter hours by present working hours, 2005

Part-time employees were slightly less satisfied with their working hours. A considerable share of them (16 percent) wanted to work longer hours. Most of these were people with a job for less than 20 hours a week. The number of workers with jobs for 28-34 hours a week who wanted to work less was the same as the number who wanted to work more.

One in seven older employees want to work less

Of all people aged over fifty, 83 percent were satisfied with their working hours. One in seven employees in this age group wanted to work for fewer hours. Also, more part-timers in this age group wanted to work less than wanted to work more.

Young people most dissatisfied

Young people are less often satisfied with their working hours. More young people than older people in full-time jobs wanted longer working hours. In 2005, 5 percent of young full-time employees said they would like to work for longer hours. Among part-time employees, too, young people more often wanted to work longer hours than their older colleagues.

Employees who want to work longer or shorter hours by age, 2005



Ingrid Beckers