ETUC reveals benefits of collective bargaining for work-life balance


An analysis of data working time from the Eurofound research agency by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) shows how collective bargaining can deliver a better work-life balance. Workers in countries with the highest levels of collective bargaining coverage enjoy up to a month more leisure time each year – without loss of pay – than those where coverage is lower. In countries where nine in 10 workers are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the average working time is 1,674 hours a year (excluding overtime). In contrast, in countries where only one in 10 workers are covered, the average working time is 1,848 hours (excluding overtime). That is a difference of 174 hours – equivalent to four week’s work based on the EU average collectively agreed working time of 38 hours per week.