Few will be surprised to hear that the Irish like days off, but this week a new study reveals they actually work fewer hours than any other nation in Europe with the exception of the Danes.

According to a new EU study Irish employees put in just 38.4 hours a week last year - or two hours fewer than the European average, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat. In fact only the Danes work fewer hours.

Other work less play more nations include the Dutch and the Italians. Vommentators were not surprised to hear the British work the longest hours, closely followed by the Austrians and the Bulgarians.


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Things break down by sex too. In Ireland, men work an average of three hours longer every week than their female counterparts.

Hospital consultants in Ireland are contractually bound to only work for 37 hours a week, while teachers, academics, judges and politicians enjoy some of the longest holidays in Europe.

The survey, by the EU's statistics office, does not compare how hard people work or how effectively. It simply measures how many hours a week they work.


Little chance that the Irish will burn out at they have the second lowest hours of work in the EUJessica Cross