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Belgians work less for more money

Published on 05/08/2004

5 August 2004

BRUSSELS – The average Belgian works less but is paid more than citizens in neighbouring countries, new surveys revealed on Thursday.

A Belgian employee earns on average eight percent more than other Europeans, according to Flemish press reports.

The Belgian government would rake in EUR 8.3 billion if it set wages at the same level as border countries.

But at the same time, the National Statistics Institute has shown that Belgians spend less time working or studying than nearly anyone else in the European Union.

Women work on average three hours 53 minutes every day, compared with the four hour average worked by other European women.

The picture is the same for men, who work a five hour three minute day, with only Norwegians and Estonians spending less time in the workplace.

But when comparing further statistics, Belgium conforms to the EU norm.

Belgian women have around three hours 51 minutes of daily free time, while men have four hours 23 minutes.

Women spend two hours 36 minutes on meals and personal care and men two hours 35 minutes.

When it comes to sleeping, women rest for an average eight hours 16 minutes and men for eight hours and one minute.

Looking at domestic chores, Belgians are living out traditional cliches.

Women dedicate one hour and one minute to preparing meals, 22 minutes on the washing up, 57 on cleaning.

Men, on the other hand, spend a respective 22, 10 and 21 minutes on these domestic activities.

The division of the sexes is equally vast when it comes to ironing and looking after the children.

The balance is only restored for picking up the groceries, and men are more active in gardening and DIY.

In terms of leisure time, men spend more time than women watching the TV, two hours 23 compared to two hours nine minutes.

This is equally so for sport, 22 minutes compared to 15, and for hobbies, 25 minutes to women’s 14.

The tables are turned for more cultural and social activities, with women spending 50 minutes on socialising, in comparison to men’s 42 minutes.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian News