Revealed: This is how much overtime you may have to work in Sweden

Revealed: This is how much overtime you may have to work in Sweden
A woman hurrying to get to the fika break? Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
What happened to the work-life balance?

Sweden may have grabbed global headlines in the past year over its many regional 'six-hour work day' schemes – however, as The Local has previously reported, that is not the whole truth.

A new report based on figures from number crunchers Statistics Sweden and trade union Unionen has now shed light on how much time the Swedes actually spend at work, suggesting that more than one out of six Swedes on average clock up more than 6.2 hours of overtime per week.

In Sweden rules for paid overtime are usually regulated in union agreements with workplaces, or in workers' individual contracts, however many don't actually write down their hours because they do not want to be seen as slow at getting the job done or not hard-working, says Unionen.

In Stockholm more than a third of those who work overtime do not get paid for it.

“At workplaces where people consistently work overtime, the employer must adapt the organization and hire more people. (…) They have to be able to carry out the work within the normal working week,” Henrik Ehrenberg of Unionen told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

In Stockholm around 16 percent told the survey that they work overtime.

The largest proportion was found in Jönköping county, 18.4 percent, followed by Halland, 18.1 percent. Employees in Västernorrland, Norrbotten and Södermanland worked the least overtime.

Last month a report by EU statistical office Eurostat measured the number of years people aged 15 by 2015 in each EU nation was expected to be active in the labour market.

Swedes were the citizens in Europe expected to work the most, with the predicted 41.2 working years the longest on average in the EU, almost six years more than the average over the whole of the EU.

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