Irish employers, self employed do most hours


THE Irish employer and self employed work for longer periods than their European counterparts. They worked an average of 58.4 hours per week in 1994, ahead of the Netherlands, the second longest working people, with 56.3 hours, according to the findings in a survey compiled by the European Statistical Office "Eurostat".

This is well ahead of the average of 42 hours (39 hours basic), including overtime, worked by employees in Irish manufacturing industry during 1995.

An EU spokesman noted that employers and self employed people working on a full time basis had a much longer working week than employees in the 12 countries surveyed. However, "employers and self employed tend to overestimate the time they spend at work". They tend to work at a "more relaxed rhythm during periods of downturn in economic activity", the survey explained.

Meanwhile, the employee "would be subject to one of the various categories of suspension of contract".

The spokesman said "there are considerable differences between one EU country and another". The shortest working week in 1994 for employers and the self employed people was in Italy, with an average of 45.6 hours.

British bosses came out badly in the survey. They were fifth from the bottom, only just ahead of the Greeks and the Portuguese.