Norway The New Siesta Country

13 May 2013


Immigration News

Foreigners wondering why getting things accomplished on a Friday in Norway seems at best challenging, at worst inexorable, can now turn to Norway’s state railway and number-crunchers for the answer.

P.O.E.T’s Day (Push Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday) is alive and well, with the Scandinavian country having legislation and unions to back it up.

Norway’s Working Environment Act stipulates a maximum of nine hours per 24, or 40 hours per week.

Those working shifts, nights, and Sundays are either only allowed to work 38 hours within a period of seven days (round-the-clock businesses on weekdays only), or 36 hours over seven days (round-the-clock businesses seven days a week).

Collective agreements through unions – many people belong to one of these – allow for a 37.5-hour working week. A break is compulsory when the working day exceeds five and a half hours. These have to be at least 30 minutes total with an eight-hour plus working day.

On an international scale, the OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) annual ‘Better Life Index’ shows just three per cent of the employed population work very long hours. The OECD average is nine per cent.

Annual working hours are 1,414 in Norway, whereas they are 1,749 in OECD countries.  Norwegians, though not necessarily happy, are just simply not there.

New data from the state railway (NSB) shows an up to 30 per cent drop in Friday morning commuter figures.

Road toll collection company Fjellinjen also says a good 14,000 fewer cars passed the automatic collecting plazas on their way into Oslo the last day of the working week last year.

One Norwegian rail commuter admits he takes “the odd Friday off”, either as time in lieu, or one of his annual paid holiday days. A Statistics Norway (SSB) researcher also tells Dagsavisen this has nothing to do with part-time work.

Employers’ technology sector organization Abelia claim Fridays’ non-working culture is a myth. People may not commute into work as much as the rest of the week, but jobs are no longer business office-located.

“I think people have home offices or take their work with them to their mountain cabin. It's results rather than which hours one works that are more important,” Abelia communications director Hilde Widerøe Wibe tells the paper, saying she is unconcerned by the Friday work pattern trend.

The average employed person earns some EUR 23,460 (USD 30,465) more than their OECD counterparts (some EUR 17,240/USD 22,387).

Source: http://theforeigner.no/pages/news/norway-the-new-siesta-country/


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