Contractual working hours of employees

Contractual hours according to the work volume statistics

The concept of contractual hours applies to salaried employees. Contractual hours are defined as the hours that salaried employees are expected to spend on productive activities as stipulated in the explicit or implicit individual employment contract.

Contractual hours according to the statistics on normal workweek in companies

The statistics on normal workweek in companies (NW) has been providing data on the weekly working hours of full-time employees since 1942 (hours excluding overtime and absences). The economic sectors covered has changed over time (1942-1972): only industry and construction, 1973-1988: excluding agriculture, from 1990: all economic sectors).

Over a period of 30 years, the normal weekly hours worked by full-time employees recorded a decline: they fell from 45.1 to 41.7 hours per week between 1973 and 2003, i.e. a reduction of 3 hours and 21 minutes. Since 2003, the contractual weekly hours have been very stable.

Further information


Comparison between contractual hours from the WV and NW

A comparison between the contractual hours from the work volume statistics (WV) and the statistics on normal workweek in companies (NW) can be found in chapter 4.9 of the “labour market indicators” publication.

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Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Labour Force
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