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At last count (1993) nearly half or 54 million of all employees in the EU (12) had job patterns that included work ...
At last count (1993) nearly half or 54 million of all employees in the EU (12) had job patterns that included work at weekends or at home.

A report* out today from EUROSTAT - the EC statistical office in Luxembourg - shows the trend most common in the UNITED KINGDOM with nearly 66% of all workers affected. Next are ITALIANS (around 57%) and IRISH (some 52%). Least affected are PORTUGUESE workers, just over 25%.

EU-wide, over 24 million (some 21%) said they worked on Sundays (almost 19 million in the service sector); 23 million said they worked the whole weekend. In the UNITED KINGDOM Sunday working was over 37% and in DENMARK over 33% but in PORTUGAL under 12%.

Of the nine million or 7.5% working at home, 4% said it was their regular workplace. The figure for the BRITISH working usually or occasionally at home was 22% - around three times the level in countries that came next: DENMARK, BELGIUM, GERMANY and IRELAND. It was much rarer in the other member states: in FRANCE, for example, 0.5%.

The report says that, driven by new technology, many jobs have been created at home - a trend set to continue. But analyses show both pros and cons. On the plus side for workers: flexibility, easier mix of private and working life, openings for the handicapped, less stress, gradual return to work after illness etc.

For society: less pollution and traffic congestion in cities, more jobs in rural areas etc. Minuses include: social and professional isolation, fewer promotion possibilities, loss of social protection, lack of trade union representation etc.

- EUROSTAT Statistics in focus Population and social conditions No 9/1995: 'Atypical working hours in the European Union (1992-1993): work on Saturdays, Sundays and at home'.

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