by James Shaw, IamExpat article 06 April 2012
According to the OECD, the Netherlands has an excellent balance between working hours and leisure time, beating Finland and Belgium to third position.
The Netherlands was only beaten by Denmark and Norway, which finish strongly for their extremely low rates of child-poverty.
The Dutch have the lowest rate of working hours in the OECD, working on average just 1.378 per year (or 26.5 per week). They also have a generous social security net for children, the poor and the elderly.
The rate of female employment has increased dramatically, rising from 35 percent in the 1980's to 70 percent in 2009. However, much of that work is done on a part-time basis, compared to other OECD countries.
A good balance
A good balance between work and life, according to the OECD, depends on:
› The share of the labour force that works very long hours (more than 50 hours a week)
› Time spent on "leisure and personal care" (defined in contrast to paid or unpaid work as spending time with friends, going to the movies, pursuing hobbies, sleeping, eating, etc.)
› Employment rates for women who have children