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UK employees work the longest hours in the EU says the TUC

UK employees may work longer, but they are less productive
UK employees may work longer, but they are less productive

The British work the longest hours in the EU, but are less productive than those in some other countries.

A new study from the TUC suggests full-time employees in this country worked an average of 42 hours a week last year, almost two more than the typical EU employee.

In Denmark workers average 37 hours a week, while countries such as Holland, Italy, Belgium, France, Sweden and Ireland average 39.

Despite the longer hours, the UK still lags behind countries such as Germany and Denmark when it comes to productivity. In 2017 Britain was ranked 14th in terms of output per worker per hour.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Britain's long hours culture is nothing to be proud of.

"It's robbing workers of a decent home life and time with their loved ones. Overwork, stress and exhaustion have become the new normal.

"Other countries have shown that reducing working hours isn't only good for workers, it can boost productivity.

"As new technology changes our economy, the benefits should be shared by working people. That means shorter hours, more time with family and friends, and decent pay for everyone."

According to the TUC, the average full-time week in Britain has shortened by 18 minutes over the past decade, but at the current rate of progress, it would take 63 years for workers to get the same amount of free time as elsewhere in the EU.

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