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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 15:10 GMT
UK working week 'getting shorter'
Worker under stress
Many people are "trapped" into working long hours, the TUC says
People in the UK are working fewer hours than they did 15 years ago, government figures have shown.

The average number of hours worked each week between September and November last year was 31.9, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This is six minutes less than the previous quarter and compares with 33.2 hours between April and June in 1992.

More people seeking part-time work - especially women and older workers - explained the change, unions said.

Men worked an average of 36.6 hours in the period, the ONS figures showed, while women spend an average of 26.5 hours in the workplace.

The figures included the hours of those who did more than one job.

Britain currently has exemption from European Union rules setting out a maximum of 48 hours work per week.

The Trades Union Congress, which is campaigning for the end of this exemption, said that despite the ONS figures many people were still "trapped" in long-hours positions.

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