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An ONS study finds most four fifths of people in the UK either work less than 48 hours a week or are not working fewer hours than they would like.
Most employees in the UK work less than 48 hours a week and do not consider themselves underemployed, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Its study aims to quantify ‘quality work’. It starts by considering whether people are working over 48 hours or feel they are underemployed and would like more hours.
Four in five employees work this way, with men much more likely to work over 48 hours a week than women, probably because women still have the main responsibility for childcare.
At the UK level, 7% of employees were underemployed and 13% were working over 48 hours, with men more likely to be underemployed or working long hours than women, particularly those aged between 25 and 64 years, where the difference is consistently around 11 percentage points.
The report says part-time employees work an average of 20 hours a week while full-time male employees work an average of 40 hours and full-time female employees work an average of 39 hours. Because of the larger percentage of female part-time employees, for both full- and part-time work combined, female employees work an average of 35 hours and male employees work an average of 40 hours.
The report also finds that those in Northern Ireland are more likely to be working less than 48 hours a week and not to be underemployed – 84% compared to a UK average of 80%.
Other findings include: