Overtime is part of everyday work for around one in eight employees in Germany. According to the Federal Statistical Office, an average of 4.5 million worked more in 2021 than was agreed in their employment contract.
Millions of employees in Germany work overtime. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office, last year an average of 4.5 million people worked longer than contractually agreed per week. This corresponds to twelve percent of the total of 37.8 million employees. Men, with a share of 14 percent, performed overtime somewhat more frequently than women (ten percent).
Overtime work, especially in the finance and insurance sectors
The statisticians found that there were clear differences in the individual economic sectors. Overtime was most widespread in the financial and insurance services sector, where almost one in five employees (19 percent) was affected. In energy supply, too, a comparatively high proportion (18 percent) did overtime. The lowest proportion was in the hospitality industry at six percent, followed by the arts and entertainment industry (eight percent). According to the statisticians, corona restrictions may have had an effect here.
For most employees, the amount of overtime was limited to a few hours per week. Around a third stated that they had worked less than five hours of overtime. For 59 percent it was less than ten hours. However, more than a quarter (29 percent) of those affected worked at least 15 hours overtime. This can be done in the form of paid and unpaid overtime or flow into a working time account, which can be used to offset it later.
Of the people who worked more than contractually agreed in 2021, almost 22 percent worked unpaid overtime. On the other hand, almost 18 percent were paid. 72 percent used a working time account. Some of the extra work was done using a combination of the three forms.