The aim is to obtain a fuller insight into differences in working time across the European Union and into developments in average hours worked both in total and by specific sections of the work force in different Member States over recent years. The concern is to investigate the factors underlying the changes that are observed in the survey data collected and, in particular, how terms and conditions of employment are changing in relation to working time. In general, data refers to the working time of those in employment.

In completing the questionnaire, correspondents should refer to the data in the tables sent with it. These come from, first, the EU Labour Force Survey and cover average hours worked by men and women employees both overall and in part-time and fulltime jobs, the proportion of men and women in part-time jobs and the relative number of men and women employed under different arrangements as regards working time. Secondly, they come from the Fourth European Working Conditions Survey conducted by the European Foundation and cover other aspects of working time, including the number of days worked per week, evening, night and weekend working, the organisation of working time, the proportion of people with second jobs, the time spent commuting as well as on unpaid work. These data are intended to form the basis of the replies to the questions asked but correspondents are encouraged to identify and use other sources of relevant data where available to supplement these.

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