Dutch youngsters often work evenings and weekends

13/10/2009 15:00

Nearly six out of ten Dutch employees worked irregular hours in 2008. Relatively more men than women, and more young than older employees had irregular working hours. Young people with irregular working hours worked mostly in the trade, hotels and restaurants, and health care sectors.

Just over half of workers have irregular hours

Nearly six out of ten people in the employed labour force had irregular working hours. They were most likely to work in the evening and on Saturdays; night-time shifts occurred the least. More men than women work irregular hours: 59 versus 55 percent.

Irregular working hours by sex and age, 2008

Irregular working hours by sex and age, 2008

Young people more often work irregular hours

Relatively more youngsters worked irregular hours in 2008 than older people. Remarkably, more young women than young men worked irregular shifts: nearly seven out of ten young women and slightly more than six out of ten young men. 

Irregular hours most common in hotels and restaurants

The hotels and restaurants sector led the field in irregular working hours: nine out of ten workers in this sector have non-regular hours. In the sectors culture and other services and agriculture irregular hours are also common.

Workers with irregular working hours by sector, 2008

Workers with irregular working hours by sector, 2008

Many young workers in trade, hotels and restaurants, and health care

Young men and women working in trade and in hotels and restaurants are more likely than their older colleagues to work irregular hours. These workers are probably youngsters who work alongside school or study as shop assistants or waiters and waitresses. Young people in these sectors more often work in weekends and evenings when they do not have lessons or lectures. A similar pattern can be seen in health care, although in this sector it is only young women who work irregular hours.

Young workers with irregular working hours, 2008

Young workers with irregular working hours, 2008

Ingrid Beckers and Lian Kösters