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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
UK 'top' for long working hours
Call centre workers
Many in Britain are working long hours
The UK tops the list of wealthy nations who work excessive hours, according to the International Labour Organisation.

The ILO says that one-quarter of UK employees work more than 48 hours a week, more than any other rich nation.

More than 600 million people worldwide are working long hours each week, says the UN body concerned with work trends.

The ILO report into working hours in 50 countries says its ideal of a maximum 48-hour working week is a long way off for many nations.

Among developing countries, Peruvians tops the list of workers who put in more than 48 hours a week.

Tiring industries

The ILO blames the growth of service industries, such as tourism and transport, plus an expansion in informal working arrangements, for the excess of global working hours.

In Peru more than half of the working population work past the 48 hours weekly barrier, the ILO says.

South Korea, Thailand and Pakistan are close behind Peru in the long hours stakes, according to the report.

Among developed nations Israel, Australia, Switzerland and the US follow the UK in the proportion of people who exceed 48 hours a week.

The ILO claims shorter working hours lead to healthier staff who are more productive.




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