Czechs spend more time at work than other Europeans

People in the Czech Republic with full-time jobs work an average of 41.3 hours per week, according to new data published by the Statistics Office of the European Union, Eurostat. That is over half an hour more than the EU average, which stands at 40.7 hours.

Nevertheless, the working week in the Czech Republic has shortened by about one hour over the last ten years. According to the country’s current Labour Code, the weekly working time in the Czech Republic is 40 hours, and slightly less in the case of employees working shifts.

The eight-hour work day has been in place in the Czech Republic for over a century. It was established in 1918, shortly after the founding of the independent Czechoslovak state and was considered a progressive measure at the time.

Taking into account part-time work, Czechs work on average 39.9 hours per week, compared to the EU average of 37 hours a week. In 2011, that figure stood at 41.1 hours, compared to 37.6 hours in the EU. That shows that part–time jobs are still not a common practice in the Czech Republic. For instance in the Netherlands, the average weekly working time was only 30.3 hours.

For several years, the Czech Republic's trade unions have been calling for a reduction in working hours, pointing out that employees in the neighbouring countries work less. For example in Germany, it is 40.6 hours per week.

The Social Democratic Party recently also called for a shortening of working hours by 2.5 hours a week. However, the proposal was not approved by the government.