Number of employees in Germany who want to work fewer hours is growing

Number of employees in Germany who want to work fewer hours is growing

A new YouGov poll has revealed that employees in Germany are losing enthusiasm for their jobs - a majority would prefer to stop working if it weren't for needing wages.

Many workers in Germany would prefer part-time hours

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic more and more employees in Germany are saying they would like to reduce their working hours. The new data comes from an annual YouGov poll which was published on Tuesday by the HDI insurance company in Lower Saxony.

According to the poll, which was taken between June and July by 3.891 workers aged 15 and over, 48 percent of workers in Germany would move to part-time work if their employers allowed it. People who work fewer than 30 hours a week are considered part-time employees in Germany, and once an employee has worked at a company for more than six months they are entitled to ask their employer to reduce their weekly hours. However, this only applies if the company employs more than 15 people.

Corona may have changed peoples’ attitude to work

While some would simply like to reduce their hours at work, others would prefer to do away with working completely. Prior to the pandemic only 41 percent of workers said they would stop working all together if they were not financially dependent on their employer for their wages. Today, the number has increased to 56 percent.

For many people the uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus pandemic put into perspective what they consider to be important in life, and according to the YouGov survey, commitment to work among younger people has been waning since the pandemic began. In 2020, 69 percent of workers below the age of 25 said they could not imagine life without work; in 2022 the number dropped to 58 percent.

The German employment market is also currently reckoning with a labour shortage, which led the current "traffic light" government to announce a new points-based immigration system which aims to attract skilled workers to the country.

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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