Overtime in Europe: Regulation and practice

Despite the well-known adverse effects of regular long working hours on workers’ health, well-being and performance, many workers in the EU continue to work beyond their normal hours. Part of this additional working time is classified as overtime. This report takes a comparative overview of how overtime is regulated in the EU Member States, Norway and the United Kingdom, including its definition, the limits on its use and the compensation received by workers for working extra hours. The report assesses the extent of the phenomenon using national-level data, delves into the factors that explain it, and examines the potential consequences for workers and firms. Finally, the report summarises the current debate on the topic, as uncompensated working hours, structural overtime and monitoring of working hours are currently some of the most discussed work-related issues across the EU.

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