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1. The number of hours worked has an impact on workers' well-being and labour productivity.

2. These statistics are important in monitoring working conditions and analysing economic developments.​​

There are three measures of hours worked, which are consistent with the concepts and definitions recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).


Paid Hours Worked (PHW)

This refers to all periods of time for which employees receive payment from their employer, regardless of whether the hours are actually worked.

It includes one’s standard hours of work, commonly stipulated in the employment contract, as well as any paid overtime hours. Time that is paid for but not worked, such as annual leave, public holidays and sick leave, are also covered.

It excludes unpaid overtime put in by employees, such as those by executives. Hours worked by self-employed persons are also not captured, as they do not receive salary as remuneration.


Usual Hours Worked (UHW)

This refers to the hours that an employed person typically works in any given week, regardless of whether they are paid for it.

It includes the overtime hours that are regularly put in, even if they are unpaid. For instance, if an individual regularly checks his or her work emails after dinner at home for an hour, this time spent would be included. For persons who hold multiple jobs, this measure captures the sum of hours worked in all jobs.

As the measure covers one’s typical weekly work schedule, irregular arrangements are not taken into account since they are not recurrent over a long observation period within the year. Examples include annual leave, public holidays, sick leave and ad-hoc overtime required during peak periods or for work exigencies, e.g. to meet a project deadline.

​Actual Hours Worked (AHW)

This refers to the actual time spent by employed persons on work activities, regardless of whether the hours are regular in nature or whether they are paid for.

It includes all forms of overtime hours of work. Similar to usual hours worked, it covers the time put in for all jobs that an individual held during the reference period.

It excludes all the time spent away from work, even if that time is paid for.