Brazil: Case study on working time organization and its effects in the health services sector

Working time is a critical aspect of health services. Reconciling workers' needs with organizational requirements remains a challenge. This working paper explores the complex issues around working time organization and their effects in the health services sector in Brazil.

This country case study aimed at identifying existing working time arrangements and practices in the health services sector in Brazil and studying their influence on workers' wellbeing, including their work-life-balance, and organizational performance. The explorative study is based on a literature review as well as qualitative interviews with health workers, managers, policy makers, professional associations and trade unionists in the health sector in five regions of the country.

It describes the Brasilian health system; the legislation and regulation regarding working time; organizational needs of health facilities, patterns of shift scheduling and mechanisms for consultation with staff. The paper also identifies key working-time related factors affecting staff morale and performance and describes staff and managerial perceptions an preferences of working time arrangements and concludes with a set of recommendations.