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Survey confirms women’s work is never done
A recent publication by Eurofound, the EU agency that collects employment-related statistics, examines working time but ranges beyond the workplace to include commuting time and unpaid labour in the home. It concludes that women still have a much heavier burden: the total hours of women who officially work part-time are only marginally fewer than those of men with full-time jobs, once domestic duties are taken into account. Although part-time work is often presented as a family-friendly measure women spend nearly three times the number of their ‘saved’ hours on unpaid work as part-time men.
The latest release in the Eurobarometer series of opinion surveys examines the subject of active ageing especially concerning work and retirement. It reports that whereas most EU citizens are aware of the ‘demographic time bomb’ as the number of people of working age gradually reduces, they are not prepared to work longer to make up the difference. Only a third of respondents thought that the retirement age needed to increase before 2030 but over 60% said that people should be allowed to work past the official limit if they wanted to. Notions of youth and age vary markedly from country to country: you’re ‘old’ in Slovakia at 57 but not till you’re over 70 in the Netherlands while in Sweden youth ends at 37 compared to 50 in Greece and Cyprus.