Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Working-Time Configurations: A Framework for Analyzing Diversity Across Countries

Document type Article
Author Berg, Peter
Author Charest, Jean
Author Bosch, Gerhard
Journal ILR Review
Volume 67
Date 2014
ISSN 0019-7939
Pages 805-837


Working-time practices across the developed world have exploded with diversity during the past few decades. The once standard 8-hour day and 40-hour workweek that emerged and reigned throughout much of the 20th century have given way to an increasing variety of working-time arrangements. Flexible schedules, in which hours can vary daily or weekly, and nonstandard work arrangements, such as fixed term, on-call, temporary, or part-time, are widely used at the workplace. In addition, we have witnessed the growth of zero-hour contracts that make no guarantee to provide workers with weekly working hours or a reliable income, while requiring employees to work on very short notice with very unpredictable schedules; annualized hours contracts that allow for work hours to vary over a year; and working-time accounts that allow employees to bank hours worked over a set weekly standard and to then draw on these accounts for paid time off.