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Workers with highest influence over their working time were in Finland

Christian Fernsby ▼ | September 30, 2020
In 2019, the employer, organisation or clients mainly decided on the working time of almost 118 million of the 194 million employed people aged 15 to 74 in the European Union (EU).
Finland street
Influence   Working time
In other words, the employer, organisation or clients determined the start and end time of the working day in the main job for the majorityof the employed (61%) in 2019.

Topics: Finland

Moreover, almost one in five workers (17%) reported to have been contacted several times during their leisure time in the last two months, while almost one in four workers (23%) had been contacted occasionally. The majority of employed people in the EU (59%) reported not being contacted by their employer or their clients during the leisure time in the last 2 months.

Although employed people in the majority of the EU Member States reported that their employer, organisation or clients decided on their working time, almost 60% of the employed in the EU rarely or never faced unforeseen demands, such as requirements by tasks, clients or superiors, with the consequence of changing the working time in their main job.

Around one in five employed people faced such unforeseen demands at least once a week (21%) or once a month (19%). In addition, taking one or two hours off for personal or family matters at short notice was considered as very to fairly easy for 66% of the employed.

Similarly, the majority of the employed (55%) considered taking one or two days of leave at short notice as very or fairly easy. These selected findings are issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Workers in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Hungary have the least influence over their working time

In 2019, the employer, organisation or clients mainly decided on the working time for the majority of employed people in the EU (61%), while 21% of the employed could partly and 18% could fully decide themselves.

Workers with the least influence over their working time are found in Bulgaria, as for 80% of them the decision on their working time was taken by their employer, organisation or clients, as well as in Lithuania and Hungary (both 79%). Workers in Cyprus and Croatia (both 74%) and Latvia (73%) followed them closely.

In contrast, the workers with the highest influence over their working time were in Finland, as the employer, organisation or clients mainly decided on the working time for only 30% of them, and in Sweden (35%). They were followed by the workers in Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Highest share of workers contacted several times during leisure time with direct action required in Finland

In 2019, the majority of the employed (59%) in the EU reported not being contacted in the last two months by their employer or their clients during the leisure time and 23% reported to be contacted occasionally.

However, almost one in five workers (17%) in the EU have been contacted several times during their leisure time. Direct action before the next working day was required for 10% of the employed, while 7% of the employed have been contacted several times during their leisure with no direct action required.

Finland reported the largest share of the employed, who have been contacted several times during their leisure time and who had to undertake action before the next working day (23%), followed by the Netherlands (18%), Sweden (16%), Portugal and Luxembourg (both 14%).

In contrast, the lowest shares of work-related contacts during leisure time with direct action required were recorded in Lithuania and Romania (both 3%), Czechia (5%) and Cyprus (6%).

One in five employed adapt their working time at least once a week due to unforeseen demands at work

In 2019, around one in five employed (21%) faced unforeseen demands with the consequence of changing the working time in the main job at least once a week.

Among the EU Member States, more than one in three people employed in Luxembourg (37%) adapted their working time at least once a week due to unforeseen demands in 2019, followed by those employed in Finland (31%), France, Austria and Slovenia (all 27%), as well as Italy (26%).

In contrast, the lowest shares were reported in Bulgaria (8%), Lithuania and Hungary (both 9%), followed by Slovakia (11%), Spain (13%) and Estonia (14%).

High degree of freedom in taking a few hours or couple of days off at short notice in the EU

In 2019, the employed across the EU considered taking one or two hours off for personal or family matters at a short notice very easy (reported by 34% of the employed) or fairly easy (33%), while for one in five workers it was perceived as fairly (21%) or very difficult (13%).

Among the EU Member States, Sweden reported the highest share of employed people that considered taking one or two hours off at a short notice very or fairly easy (84%), closely followed by Denmark (83%), the Netherlands (82%) and Finland (81%).

In contrast, the majority of the employed in Bulgaria (60%) considered taking one or two hours off at short notice very or fairly difficult, followed by those employed in Romania (57%) and Slovakia (54%).

The European Union (EU) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.