Here’s how many hours South Africans work each week

A new poll conducted by BusinessTech shows that the majority of readers work 40 hours or more each week.

The poll – which was conducted in December 2019 and had 1,965 votes – shows that a quarter (26%) of readers work 40 hours a week.

By comparison, 24% of readers said that they work 45 hours a week and 21% say that they work 50 hours or more each week.

This aligns with data compiled by the University of Oxford’s researchers at Our World in Data, shows that South African employees work some of the longest hours in the world.

Oxford’s data traces working hours in over 50 countries between 1950 and 2017, showing which countries had the highest average number of hours worked per employee, annually.

In 2017, South Africa ranked as one of the longest-working nations, recording 2.209 hours a year. This equates to around 42.5 hours of work a week.

This aligns with data from the International Labour Organisation, which also ranks South Africa as one of top countries for working hours.

The latest ILO statistics for South Africa (2018) shows that a significant portion of our labour force of 16.4 million works more than 49 hours a week (21% – or about 3.5 million people). However, the majority of workers still fall into the 40-48 hour range.

This range is in line with South African labour laws, which puts the maximum normal working time allowed at 45 hours weekly – or nine hours per day – and is the most common range for workers around the world.


Read: Microsoft conducted a 4-day workweek experiment – here’s what happened

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Here’s how many hours South Africans work each week