WEDNESDAY WORKFACTS: Workplaces Around the World


Standard working hours are 35 hours per week (reduced from 39 hours in 2000). French citizens are entitled to five weeks annual leave a year; a survey data found Australians take half the amount of annual leave than the French 16.5 compared to 34.5 days a year. French now work 24% less than in 1970, compared to those in the US who work 20% more. Many protests were held when Sarkosy increased the retirement age from 60 to 62 years in 2010. France loses more than 100 days of work a year through strikes for every 1,000 employees.


There are a very limited number of measures aimed at balancing work and family life in Spain and those that exist are often found to be ineffective, especially those focusing on extended leave and reduced working hours. Since the economic crisis of 2008, many families cannot afford to take leave and reduce their income. Also, people are reluctant to accept reduced working hours, as they believe their professional careers would be impaired as a result. The work-life imbalance can also have a deleterious effect on companies, as workers’ productivity may decline, absenteeism may increase and accidents may occur.


Discrimination in employment is prohibited by law on nine grounds, including family status, age and membership of the Traveller community. The Workplace Relations Commission, which deals with claims of discrimination in the first instance, may award compensation of up to two years’ pay. In sex discrimination cases referred to the Circuit Court, there is no cap on the amount that may be awarded in compensation. Sick pay in Ireland – There is no statutory sick pay nor any obligation on employers to pay employees during a period of sickness absence. However, many employers do pay their employees their full wages during short absences due to illness and subsequently recoup any state benefit paid to the employee.


These are 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week, according to the Canada Labour Code. The holiday allowance in Canada is pretty much the same as it is in the U.S. Two weeks is the standard, unless you’re working in the province of Saskatchewan, where you can expect to start your employment entitled to three weeks of leave. Most provinces offer you a third week after you’ve been employed for a set period of time. In addition, employees are entitled to 6 “10 paid public holidays, depending on the province they’re working in.

Middle East:

Diversity in the workplace means very different approaches to business due to a number of factors, including generational, level of tradition, and how much the West has influenced their way of conducting business. No matter how traditional, modern, or Western-appearing your Middle East counterpart may seem, it is important to consider core work values that remain integral to the Middle East. Face first – Although many people associate the concept of face with Asia, face is very important throughout the Middle East as well.   Your Middle East counterparts, first and foremost, will expect to be treated with dignity, respect, and ideally to enhance their reputation by working with you.   They will also be motivated to avoid shame (where someone else knows they did something wrong) and may be reluctant to accept blame.


Japanese employees work long hours. In spite of the Labour Law, it is not unusual for employees to work 60 hours a week, though foreign workers are usually not pressured to log the same amount of hours as their Japanese counterparts. One reason for the extraordinary number of hours that Japanese work is a promotion culture that is still rooted in a seniority system. The amount of time employees work determines their opportunities for advancement, and the quantity of their work is sometimes more important than its quality.   Office environment – desks are organized in an open plan (obeya seido), grouped together in teams of coworkers. Each team has a leader, and the leader is responsible for outlining the day ´s work in a morning meeting (chorei). Foreign employees may find Japanese offices loud. The noise is a result of the open structure of the office and Japanese management ´s emphasis on cooperation.