European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

Panel 10: Working time

Tuesday 28 June, 11:30-13:00

In the 1980s it was believed that a redistribution of existing jobs through universal working time reduction could be a route to achievement of full employment. In the 1990s policy strategy shifted in favour of voluntary work-sharing through the expansion of part-time work. The current policy consensus is that new labour market challenges require greater flexibility in terms of work organisation, wages and working time. On the one hand, flexible and shorter hours of work may contribute to work redistribution, promoting better use of human resources, greater gender equality, and increased productivity. On the other hand, such developments may carry social costs and risks such as increased precariousness, work intensification, underemployment, and rising inequality. In this panel we discuss developments in working time organisation, as well as related challenges and opportunities. Against the background of recent findings presented by the speakers, we ask what directions might be taken and what solutions found for future achievement of both social and economic policy goals.


Discussant: Barbara Surdykowska, ‘Solidarnosc’ Trade Union

Moderator: Agnieszka Piasna, ETUI

Read the short summary of this panel debate.

For further reading:

Warren, T. (2015) ‘Work-time underemployment and financial hardship: class inequalities and recession in the UK’, Work, Employment and Society, 29, 2:191–212.

Time-poor or cash-poor? Including the working class to rebalance work-life debates, Tracey Warren

Warren, T. (2015) ‘Work-life balance/imbalance: the dominance of the middle class and the neglect of the working class’, British Journal of Sociology, 66,4: 691-717.

Philippe Askenazy: Working time regulation in France from 1996 to 2012

Philippe Askenazy: Tous rentiers ! Pour une autre répartition des richesses

Next: Panel 11: Work intensification

Previous: Panel 9: The Circular Economy as a driver for jobs and industrial relations


    Video interview: Ilse De Vooght, Policy Officer, Femma, on the need for working time reduction

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