Never mind discussions about introducing a longer working week -- most Germans in full time employment are already working an average of 42 hours a week. That's the conclusion of a nation-wide, representative study conducted by the Cologne-based ISO Institute on behalf of the labor ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia. The study reveals that working hours in Germany are in tune with the European average, disproving assumptions to the contrary, said the state's Economics and Labor Minister Harald Schartau. The assumption that Germans are world leaders when it comes to vacation and leisure time is a myth, he said. Last year, employees worked an average of 2.7 hours of overtime per week, the study found. And while the volume of overtime has remained constant over the past few years, the amount of paid overtime has decreased from 37 percent in 2003 to just 22 percent. For the study, the ISO Institute polled more than 4,000 workers of German nationality between the ages of 18 and 65.