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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There is a growing debate concerning the influence of the sheer number of working hours on physical and psychological health which has been heightened by the introduction of the European Directive on Working Time. This directive underlines such time-related parameters as a minimum rest period of eleven consecutive hours in every twenty-four hours of work, mandatory rest days, a minimum annual entitlement of four weeks paid leave, acceptable arrangements for night work, including a limitation to no more than an average of eight in twenty-four hours, and a maximum working week of 48 hours. This article reviews the evidence relating to working hours and working patterns on both physical and psychological health. It focuses specifically on work: when, and for how long people choose to, or are required to, be at work.

Keywords: working hours, psychological health, European Directive, working time, working patterns

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