Women work the hardest
10 October 2003
A woman's working week is half a day longer than it was five years ago and now averages almost 34 hours, according to a new report today.
The increase reflects the growing number of women working as managers or in professional jobs where hours are longer, said the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
A survey of 1,600 workers showed that men's hours had fallen from 45.5 hours a week five years ago to 44.8 now.
One in four workers said the UK's long hours culture had affected their mental health and a similar proportion said their sex lives and their relationship with their children had been hit.
Most people who worked long hours were likely to go to work even if they were unwell, and two-thirds had gone to the office on public holidays in the past year.
Half of those putting in long hours would choose work ahead of a personal commitment, the survey showed.
But putting in excessive hours affected workers' performance, with most admitting they took longer to complete a task and made mistakes.
Mike Emmott, head of employee relations at CIPD, said the survey also found little support for ending the UK's opt-out from a European Working Time Directive aimed at limiting the working week to 48 hours.
Half of those who worked long hours did so out of their own choice, according to the poll.
Mr Emmott added: "The negative effects of working long hours are increasingly recognised."
Patricia Hewitt, Trade and Industry Secretary and Cabinet Minister for Women, said: "We all recognise the damaging effect long hours can have on employees in both their work and family life.
"But according to the Labour Force Survey, a quarterly survey of 60,000 employees, the proportion of full time employees working over 48 hours a week has fallen from 23.5% to 20.4% in the past six years.
"The average weekly hours has also fallen by just over an hour over the same period.
"However, there are still far too men and women working long hours and suffering as result.
"Flexible working can help tackle the hours culture, it's why we introduced legislation in April to promote flexible working and enable employees to get a better work life balance.
"The culture is changing slowly, over five million people now have some kind of flexible working, but I want to help more people get the hours to suit them, either formally through the new rights, or informally with their employers." http://www.thisislondon.com/jobs/careernews/articles/7120793?source=PA