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Gender, Employment and Working Time Preferences in Europe.

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A representative survey of over 30,000 people aged 16-64 years across the 15 member states of the European Union and Norway sought Europeans' preferences for increasing or reducing the number of hours worked per week. Key finding included the following: (1) 51% preferred to work fewer hours in exchange for lower earnings while 12% preferred to work longer hours; (2) substantial part-time hours (20-34) or moderate full-time hours (35-59) were the most widely preferred arrangements; (3) men preferred a 37-hour work week while women preferred a 30-hour week; (4) those most likely to prefer part-time hours were women with young children; (5) fatherhood had less influence on men's preferences for work hours; (6) more than half of the respondents prefer taking time off, in such forms as "time banking" or flextime, in compensation for overtime work; and (7) 23% said they would take unpaid leaves if available, and this figure rose to 30% of those employees in higher income brackets. Issues raised by these results included the following: (1) collective reduction of full-time hours; (2) improvement in the quality and amount of part-time work; and (3) help for parents to combine employment and family responsibilities. (Partial solutions in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were described. Included are 6 tables and 5 figures.) (AJ)

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Author:Fagan, Colette; Warren, Tracey
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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