‘The Dutch do not work little, but divide hours unequally’

Published by Economisch Bureau Amsterdam on

Although the Dutch working week is short, the Dutch do not work less per capita than other Europeans. Martijn Mak (Amsterdam Bureau for Economics) writes this in a contribution to the ESB. At 35 hours, the Dutch working week is shorter than the EU average (37 hours), but partly because of this, many Dutch people are working. As a result, the Dutch work about as much per capita as EU citizens on average (both 30 hours).

However, the hours are much more unequally distributed between men and women than in the rest of the EU. Dutch women work over 10 hours less per capita than Dutch men. In the European Union as a whole, that difference is 8 hours.

This uneven division is unfavorable for the economic position of Dutch women. For example, Professor of Comparative Social Policy Mara Yerkes (Utrecht University) told EenVandaag in March that the Dutch part-time culture is mainly a problem because part-time workers are often women. As a result, they are less financially independent and more vulnerable to poverty than men.

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