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Message 1315896 - Posted: 16 Dec 2012, 6:19:57 UTC

In a discussion with my son last week, the subject of what is a full time working week came up. In then expanded to include holidays and sick time etc.

He works a forty hour week with four weeks of paid holiday, and 9 public (bank) holidays but no fully paid sick time. In my last 14 years of work I generally only worked 35 hour weeks, finishing at Friday lunch time, with four weeks holidays, usually off from Christmas Eve until 2nd Jan unless absolutely necessity was specified, and up to 2 weeks sick leave.
I would also like to note that at times I could work from home, in these periods because of less interruptions and less meatings to attend, I could exceed the expected targets in about 5 hours/day.

Googling I see that for the UK a full time can mean anything from over 30 hours to 44 hours, with some firms wanting more.
There is an EU directive limiting working hours to an average of 48 hrs/week, complex equation. In France fulltime is defined as a strict 35 hour week, but with some limited overtime.
From Daily Telegraph

The latest Eurostat report on full-time employment says the British work 42.2 hours a week on average and Germans work 40.7 hours, while the French work 39.5 hours. Danes are at the bottom of the scale at 37.7 hours.

And far as I can tell in the USA, except for some government jobs at 40 hr/week, the bosses have the whip hand, expecting you to work all the hours they can get away with and 5 days holiday a year plus some public holidays like the fourth, thanksgiving and Christmas and maybe a few days allowed for sickness.

So what is a full working week?
Do long hours mean more output?
Do you get enough time off with your family, especially the kids?
Do you have to take work home? e.g. like teachers
And any other thoughts.

Profile James Sotherden
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United States
Message 1315955 - Posted: 16 Dec 2012, 11:22:24 UTC

Its hard to say here in the states as each state sets the laws on hours and what is considerd gainfully employed.

Here in New York state if you work more than 34 hours a week you are termed a full time worker. Where 20 hours or less is a partime worker. Now here is where its gets confusing. I have held jobs that were called part time where i worked 48 hours a week. By being a part time worker they didnt have to offer me any benifits, such as medical insurance, or even the same pay as the full timers got. I did the same job and made $3.00 less an hour then the full timers.

Some companys only use part time help and use the help at less than 20 hours a week just so they dont have to give the workers any benfits. Walmart is a big example of that.

Also up until last June 2011 new York law said that an employer could make you work 13 days in a row and then had to give you a 24 hour rest peroid. Where I work now they were going to implement that back in Oct of this year. How ever one of the guys did some research and found that they had changed the law as the nurses in the state got shafted by it. So now in NY state you can only work 6 days a week and must have a 24 hour rest peroid. You cant even ask for volunteers to work 7 days in a row, unless you file the proper paper work and pay the fees to allow you to ask for employees to work 7 days.

As far as vacations go The US is pretty miserly with them. At the start of employment you might get a week after the first year. I had to work 2 years two get 2 weeks vacation. Then after 5 years I got another day. Then one day a year after that to get 3 weeks after ten years. At 20 years I would get 4 weeks and thats it.

I think we have 12 legal holidays in the US, But most workers get from 7 to 9, Unless you are a teacher, work in a bank or the local, state or federal governments.


Old James

Message 1315963 - Posted: 16 Dec 2012, 11:36:21 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 18:34:28 UTC


Profile Sarge
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Message 1317433 - Posted: 20 Dec 2012, 1:42:36 UTC - in response to Message 1315963.

Federal employees here in the U.S. work 40 hours/week. Work is defined as "being at your duty location." Doesn't matter if you're playing video games or not. You just can't be seen leaving the building until the second hand passes the 12 on the clock.

I'm pretty sure he's talking about his time in the military. Glad video games supplanted our nation's defense!!!

Message 1317437 - Posted: 20 Dec 2012, 1:49:18 UTC - in response to Message 1317433.
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 18:42:53 UTC


Message boards : Politics : Full time working

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