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Research Paper Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 3

Statistics on Working Time Arrangements Based on Time-Use Survey Data


Publication date

01 Oct 2003


This paper uses full-record time diary data from six studies conducted in four countries, Canada (1992), the Netherlands (1990 and 1995), Norway (1980, 1990) and Sweden (1991), to analyse daily schedules of individual work time patterns. The work schedules are based on the combination of regular paid work, overtime work, second jobs, and any reported informal paid work activity. We define work episodes as single occurrences of paid work activity separated by 60 or more minutes from any other paid work episodes. The reference work episode was the one that occurred during 'core' hours, which were defined as 0800-1800 for Canada and Netherlands, and as 0700-1600 for Norway and Sweden. These 'core' time definitions were based upon the frequences of start and end-times of work episodes. Work episodes were calculated for all days, including weekend days. We identified seven theoretical work time arrangements possible during a day for each individual with reference to the core working hours. These classifications of work time arrangements extend from early morning to late night with three classifications being single arrangements and four being multiple and overlapping arrangements. Empirically these arrangements, in combination, generated 10 workday patterns for individuals. We found vast, though as yet statistically untested, differences in work time arrangments across countries and by sex. In general, men tended to be relatively evenly distributed over the work time arrangements defined for a typical day, while women tended to work a single episode during core hours only. 2/3 of Canadian and Swedish men worked at least some time outside core hours, while nearly half of Dutch and Noregian men only worked during the core period. Women in Sweden worked a wider range of hours than women in the other three countries. Where possible, this paper explores relations between other aspects of working arrangement

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  1. Examining working time arrangements using time use survey data

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