Working time laws: A global perspective

In recent years, working time laws have become central to national and international debates about competitiveness and productivity, health and safety, work/life balance, gender equality and the role of labour standards in globalization. These debates, however, have yet to be backed up by an extensive and detailed analysis of global working time laws. This report is intended to contribute to this discussion by presenting the first such comparative analysis in over a decade. It reviews the working time legislation of more than 100 countries in all regions, comparing their provisions on a number of the main elements of working time regulation: normal and maximum working hours; overtime work; rest periods; and annual holidays. The report draws on the information on working time laws compiled for inclusion in the International Labour Organization’s Conditions of Work and Employment Database, a searchable online database found at Deirdre McCann is a labour lawyer with the Conditions