At least 10 pct workers toil in free time: ILO report

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GENEVA, May 6 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 percent of workers toil during their free time, according to an International Labour Organization (ILO) report issued on Monday.

The joint report by the ILO and the European research agency, Eurofound, also found that time at work varies starkly in the world, with one-sixth in the European Union (EU) having a more than a 48-hour-week, while in South Korea, Turkey and Chile about half the workers do so.

The study covers the 28 member states of the European Union, China, South Korea, Turkey, the United States, Spanish-speaking Central America, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, the ILO said at a UN press conference here on Monday.

Working conditions in a global perspective provide the first comparative analysis of job quality covering 1.2 billion of the world's workers in surveys carried out in 41 countries, mainly over the last five years, said the ILO.

"Around 1.2 billion of the world's workers found stark differences in working hours, significant levels of intensive and emotionally demanding work and that the least-educated have worse overall working conditions and fewer opportunities to develop their skills," said the report.

Manuela Tomei, director of the ILO's Work Quality Department, said, "Good working conditions contribute to the well-being of workers and the success of enterprises.

"Understanding the issues that affect the well-being and productivity of working women and men is a critical step towards achieving decent work for all," she added.

The report found that more than 70 percent of workers in South Korea can take an hour or two off work to take care of personal and family matters. The tally compares with 20-40 percent of workers in the U.S., Europe, and Turkey.

Intensive work with tight deadlines and high-speed work are experienced by one-third of workers in the EU and half in the U.S., Turkey, El Salvador, and Uruguay.

Regardless of the country, the least-educated get less access to opportunities to grow and develop their skills.

The proportion of workers who report learning new things at work varies between 72 and 84 percent in the United States, the EU, and Uruguay, but the ratios are lower in Turkey (57 percent) and South Korea (30 percent).

The report finds that exposure to physical risk is frequent.

About one-quarter reported frequent exposure to high temperatures at work, and almost as many said they were frequently exposed to low temperatures.

Across the countries, women earned significantly less than men and were overrepresented at the lowest end of the earnings distribution.

Up to 12 percent of workers said they were subjected to verbal abuse, humiliating behavior, bullying, unwanted sexual attention or sexual harassment. Enditem

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