Flexible working time arrangements are becoming increasingly important in the modern world of work. It is often questioned whether existing working time regulations adequately consider the changes in the working world. Against this background, statutory minimum rest periods of eleven hours between two working days are challenged. Based on the BAuA Working Time Survey (2017) of n = 6136 full-time employees, this article shows that the shortening of rest periods (quick returns) is negatively associated with psychosomatic health complaints and work-life balance across all occupations. The negative correlation between daily working hours or overtime with health and work-life balance is also partly attributable to quick returns. The analyses show that even occasional violations of the 11-hour minimum daily rest period are associated with health risks and a poor work-life balance.
Practical Relevance: Quick returns show negative correlations with health and work-life balance. Hence, minimum daily rest periods represent a necessary minimum standard for occupational safety and health. Flexibilisation of working hours, which shortens or interrupts the minimum daily rest periods, should be rejected to ensure organizational safety and health. Moreover, the existing derogations might also be revisited. When designing and evaluating working times, the length of rest periods should be taken into account in addition to working time duration. Quick returns should be avoided as far as possible.
Please download the article "Quick returns, health, and work-life-balance in full-time employees: Results from the BAuA Working Time Survey 2017" (in German only).
N. Backhaus, C. Brauner, A. Tisch:
Auswirkungen verkürzter Ruhezeiten auf Gesundheit und Work-Life-Balance bei Vollzeitbeschäftigten: Ergebnisse der BAuA-Arbeitszeitbefragung 2017.
in: Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, Volume 73, Issue 4 2019. pages 394-417, Project number: F 2452, DOI: 10.1007/s41449-019-00169-8
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