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‘WORK 60-hour per week in Pakistan’: Nations with the longest & shortest work weeks!

To combat growing inflation, newly-elected Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif proposed a six-day workweek of 10 hours each day for government agencies in one of his first measures on Tuesday. Pakistan currently has one of the world’s longest working hours for government agencies, at 60 hours per week. In reality, Pakistan is going against the trend in this area, as there is a growing desire for shorter working hours, and several nations are experimenting with it as well.

Though most nations have a 40-hour workweek, it also depends on the area or industry in which one works. Cambodia has the longest average working hours in Southeast Asia, according to Penn World Table, with 47.6 hours per week. Myanmar (47.1), Bangladesh (46.5), Singapore (44.8), and Malaysia are the next four countries (42.3). According to an International Labour Organization report issued in December 2021, India has an average work week of 48 hours.

According to OECD data, Germany has the least weekly working hours at 25.6, followed by Denmark (25.9), the United Kingdom (26.29), Norway (26.3), and the Netherlands (26.9). Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands, by the way, rank high on the happiness scale.

Determining the average working hours in a specific nation may be difficult owing to various conceptions of what constitutes labor and who is considered a worker. However, with enough data, tendencies develop. Furthermore, high-income countries tend to have shorter working hours than middle-income and underdeveloped ones. So, whereas Asian countries lead the list of countries with the longest working hours, European countries top the list of countries with the lowest working hours.

A four-day workweek, on the other hand, has been implemented or tested in a number of nations. The UAE ushered in the new year with a four-and-a-half-day work week, and Belgium is the next country to follow suit. Iceland, Scotland, Sweden, Spain, and some German and Japanese corporations are also experimenting with four-day workweeks.

Top 10 countries with longest work week (in hours — Penn World Table, 2019 data)

  1. Cambodia — 47.6
  2. Myanmar — 47.1
  3. Bangladesh — 46.5
  4. Singapore — 44.8
  5. Malaysia — 42.3
  6. South Africa — 42.1
  7. China — 41.7
  8. Philippines — 41.7
  9. Hong Kong (China SAR) — 41.3
  10. Dominican Republic — 41.2

 Top 10 countries with shortest work week (in hours — OCED, 2020 data) 

  1. Germany — 25.6
  2. Denmark — 25.9
  3. UK – 26.29
  4. Norway — 26.3
  5. Netherlands — 26.9
  6. Austria – 26.92
  7. France – 26.96
  8. Sweden – 27.38
  9. Luxembourg – 27.44
  10. Iceland – 27.59

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