The government is seeking fundamental change in the way work works in Hungary. It seeks to simultaneously increase labour supply, employment and the time each worker spends at work. The latter appears unnecessary: a comparative review of European working times reveals that those already in employment work more than the average European.
Policy Solutions, based on the data of Eurofound (the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions), has undertaken a comparative review of work hours and working regulations in Europe and found that the hours worked by Hungarians are already among the longest in the Union. Extending working time is therefore unlikely to yield the benefits that the creators of the idea anticipated.
While the regular weekly working hours are slightly below average, overtime is above the mean, while paid vacations and public holidays in Hungary are below the average of European countries. Overall, the result is that Hungarians in employment work a lot. There aren’t enough of them, however.
Policy Solutions' analysis on European working time regulations can be downloaded from here.
Policy Solutions is a progressive political research institute based in Budapest. It was founded in 2008 and it is committed to the values of liberal democracy, solidarity, equal opportunity and European integration. The focus of Policy Solutions’ work is on understanding political processes in Hungary and the European Union. Among the pre-eminent areas of our research are the investigation of how the quality of democracy evolves, the analysis of factors driving euroscepticism, populism and the far-right, and election research.
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