The Czech workweek is getting shorter, but still clocks in longer than EU average

A full-time employee in the Czech Republic works 41.3 hours per week, half an hour more than the EU average.


Written by ČTK Published on 30.05.2021 16:22:00 (updated on 30.05.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The average length of time a full-time employee in the Czech Republic works per week has been gradually reduced over the past ten years, and now clocks in at 41.3 hours according to new data from the Eurostat EU Statistical Office. Despite that, it is still more than half an hour above the EU average,

Under the Czech Labor Code, the workweek for most jobs is set at 40 hours. It is 38.75 hours in a two-shift operation, and 37.5 hours in multiple-shift jobs.

Trade unions have been calling for reduced workweeks for several years, pointing out that an average Czech spends many more hours at work than people in Germany, the Netherlands, or Denmark during their professional career. Unions warn that Czechs have less time for rest and relaxation, which may have a negative impact on their health.

The eight-hour workday has been a standard in the Czech Republic for more than 100 years, ever since Czechoslovakia codified it in December 1918 shortly after the establishment of the country.

In 2011, people in the Czech Republic with full-time jobs worked an average of 42.2 hours a week, while the EU average was 41.4 hours. Since then, time spent at work has been gradually reduced in the Czech Republic and across the EU.

In 2015, the Czech workweek lasted 41.8 hours and last year it fell to 41.3 hours. In the EU as a whole, meanwhile, it is now down to 40.7 hours a week on average.

Full-time employees in Denmark work an average of 38.4 hours a week, those in Norway 38.7 hours, in Finland and Lithuania 39.9 hours, in Czech neighbor Slovakia 40.9 hours, in Germany 40.6 hours, and in Italy 40.3 hours.

The total average workweek, which includes part-time jobs, was 39.9 hours in the Czech Republic last year, while the EU average was 37 hours.

The high total number of hours at work indicates that part-time work contracts are not frequently utilized in the Czech Republic. On the contrary, in the Netherlands, which has a high share of part-time workers, the average total workweek with them included was just 30.3 hours last year.

Employees in the Czech Republic working part-time worked an average of 21.7 hours last year, while ten years ago, it was 21.5 hours. The EU average is 21.2 hours a week when it comes to part-time jobs.

Men with full-time jobs in the Czech Republic worked 41.9 hours a week on average last year, while women worked 40.4 hours. This figure is 22.1 hours and 20.6 hours for men and women working part time, respectively.

The Czech Social Democrat Party recently proposed that the country's workweek be cut by 2.5 hours. A study by the Labor and Social Affairs Research Institute focused on reducing work time shows that work can be limited not only by shortening working hours, but also by adding more public holidays and removing some overtime work.

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