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Business

Germans work more nights and weekends, study says

German employees have to put up with a rising number of weekend and night shifts. A fresh study by national statisticians also finds that people work longer than 15 years ago, with gender inequalities still in place.

German workers have to do a steadily increasing number of weekend and night shifts, a study by the National Statistics Office (Destatis) showed on Monday.

While back in 1996 almost every fifth German employer (18.8 percent) had to work on Saturdays, it was almost every fourth (24.5 percent) in 2011, the survey said. The number of workers doing night shifts on a regular basis grew to 9.6 percent from 6.8 percent over the same period.

The study also bore out that Germans' working hours had become about 40 minutes longer on average over the last 15 years, reaching 40.7 hours per week in 2011 and thus slightly higher than the 27-member EU's average of 40.4 hours. The British work longest with 42.2 hours a week, followed by employers in Switzerland and Austria who work 41.8 hours each.

The price of flexibility

The Destatis report also highlighted changing labor market conditions for job-seekers since the mid-1990s. In 1996, 10.0 percent of employers aged 25 to 34 only had temporary job contracts, while in 2011 their number had almost doubled (19.0 percent).

The study found there had been little changes in the past 15 years with regard to gender equality issues at the workplace.

It said female workers still earned 23 percent less on average than male employers. And they still accounted for a much higher percentage of temporary workers, with eight out of ten employers on temporary work being women. The latter now hold 30 percent of executive posts in the country, up from 27 percent in the mid-1990s.

hg/mz (Reuters, KNA, dpa)