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Journal Article

'How many hours do you usually work?' An analysis of the working hours questions in 26 large-scale surveys in six countries and the European Union


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This paper reviews how working hours are asked in 26 large-scale surveys in countries plus the European Union. Four dimensions of working time were investigated, notably number of working hours, timing of work, predictability and control over hours, and commuting time. Although almost all questionnaires ask for hours worked, the terminology varies largely. In only half of the cases a reference period is taken into account and in half the reasons for working more/less in the survey week than usual are asked. Contractual hours are hardly asked and so are paid and unpaid overtime hours. The timing of work is asked in a minority of the questionnaires, and predictability and control over working hours is also not a major issue. The incidence of an on-call contract is the most likely proxy for predictability.

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Time and Society


16 (1):119-130


Labour Market and Survey Methodology


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