Discussion Paper Series No 2: Excessive Overtime, Workers and Productivity

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Description: The paper presents a literature review on the issue of working time regulations and the impact of overtime on workers’ health, safety and social life, as well as on productivity. In particular, the paper focuses on the relationship between ‘excessive overtime’ (defined as working hours that have negative consequences on workers), and labour productivity, looking at the implications of long working hours on factory performance. Practical measures for reducing excessive overtime are then presented, such as sound management systems, structural improvements, training and education programmes, and tailored recommendations for different stakeholders. Finally, the paper highlights the relevance of the issue for the design and operation of the Better Work programme.

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