Swiss employees working less and taking more holidays

Naomi Tsvirko
Naomi Tsvirko - [email protected] • 24 May, 2019 Updated Fri 24 May 2019 13:49 CEST
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In 2018, people in Switzerland worked 7.9 billion hours - this seems high, but the total hours worked weekly has declined and Swiss employees are taking more holiday leave.

According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), between 2013 and 2018, the actual weekly working hours of full-time employees declined by an average of 5 minutes, to 41 hours and 8 minutes across Switzerland and annual holiday taken increased to 5.2 weeks.

Swiss workers between the ages of 20 and 49 take an average of 4.9 weeks off for holidays, fewer than those aged 15 and 19 years old who take 5 4 weeks off. However, older employees took the most time off, averaging almost six weeks of holiday leave.

Read also: Jobs in Switzerland: Where the vacancies are in 2019?


Swiss workers are taking more holiday leave. Photo:

The sector that was working the most hours was Switzerland’s primary or agricultural sector, where employees worked over 45 hours per week.

Below are the Swiss sectors that are clocking in the most hours of work: 

1.    The primary or agricultural sector (2018: 45 hours and 48 minutes)

2.    Hospitality sector (42 hours and 7 minutes)

3.    Freelance, scientific and technical services (41 hours and 54 minutes) 

4.    Credit and Insurance (41 hours and 38 minutes).

Read also: Five insider tips for job seekers in Switzerland 

How Switzerland’s workforce compares to other nations:

According to the FSO, global comparison data is collected differently and looking at the total workforce (which includes part-time employees), Switzerland was recorded as having 35 hours and 48-minute work week in 2018, making it one of the countries with the lowest actual working hours per week, behind France (35 hours and 54 minutes) but ahead of Germany (34 hours and 48 minutes).  

According to researchers, Switzerland's ranking is directly linked with its high proportion of part-time workers.

A snapshot of the work week in European countries included in the survey:

  1. Greece: 40 hours and 36 minutes
  2. France: 35 hours and 54 minutes
  3. Switzerland: 35 hours and 48 minutes 
  4. Germany: 34 hours and 48 minutes
  5. Netherlands: 31 hours and 36 minutes

The average working week in the European Union (EU28) was 36 hours and 24 minutes.



Naomi Tsvirko 2019/05/24 13:49

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