|Adapting Working Hours to Modern Needs (ILO, 1977, 66 p.)|
Over the past two decades standard hours of work have been progressively reduced in industrialised countries. At the same time, improved education and living standards have led to more widespread concern with the quality of life among those working in big cities, and more recently there have been new developments in the distribution of working hours over the week and year.
These are of considerable interest in one of the major fields (i.e. conditions of work and life) in which the ILO is required to collect and disseminate information. The present volume supplements information given in an ILO study published in 1975 on hours of work in industrialised countries.1 It is also relevant to the objectives of the proposed international programme for improving working conditions and the working environment at present under discussion in the Governing Body of the International Labour Office.
1 Archibald A. Evans: Hours of work in industrialised countries (Geneva, ILO), 1975.
Since the current developments are so recent, the present volume does not give a detailed description of the approaches in the different countries. It is intended as an outline of new trends in the pattern of working time that have emerged in industrialised market-economy countries, for readers with a general interest in present-day labour problems.
The first chapter describes the new attitudes to the allocation of the individual's time in modern societies. The second shows how the reduction of standard hours created conditions for innovations in the arrangement of working time. The next six chapters deal with the compressed working day and week, staggered schedules, flexible working hours, part-time employment and improvement of the annual pattern, indicating some advantages and disadvantages reported and factors that must be considered in introducing and operating such schemes. The wider question of flexibility in the lifetime distribution of working time is referred to in a concluding note.