Irish workers spend less time on the job than most of their European counterparts according to a new survey.

Official figures from the European statistical agency Eurostat show that only the Danes work less hours per week than the Irish.

The Eurostat figures, from a survey conducted across all member states, show that full-time employees in Ireland spent an average of 38.4 hours in the workplace last year.

Those working in Ireland’s education sector had the shortest working week as they put in just 31.5 hours, six hours below the EU average for the sector and slightly below the time spent at work in 2008.

Teachers in Greece and Italy are the only ones with shorter working weeks with hours longer in the other 24 EU member states. British teachers work the longest weeks with more than 42 hours.

According to the Irish Times newspaper, Irish employees in all other sectors, including public administration and health, are much closer to EU averages.

Not surprisingly, agricultural workers averaged the longest hours at more than 42.5 hours a week.
The report also states that the working hours gap between the sexes in Ireland is the second largest among the 27 EU countries.

It says salaried Irish men work 3.5 hours more than women. Only in Britain is the gap bigger. Men work longer hours in paid employment in every country.

The report says that self-employed workers in Ireland work much longer hours than their salaried counterparts with an average of 48 hours a week, in line with the EU average.

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