Average Work Week In Belgium: 28.5 Hours (DATA)

Average Work Week In Belgium

Belgium’s Average Work Week

Average work hours per week: 28.5

Annual work hours: 1,481

Country rank: 57/187 (ranked shortest to longest week)

Countries with similar work weeks: Bangladesh and Brazil

GDP per capita: $51,777

Unemployment rate: 6.42%

Average Work Hours Per Week In Belgium

On average, people in Belgium work 28.5 hours per week.

This figure is based on data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which publishes the number of hours worked per year by the average person in a country. OECD obtains this figure by dividing the total number of hours worked in 2021 by the average number of employed people. In Belgium, the average person works 1,481 hours per year.

To get average weekly hours worked for Belgium, we divided the annual hours by 52 weeks.

With an average work week of 28.5 hours, Belgium ranks 57 out of 187 countries with available data for the shortest work week. That gives Belgium a percentile rank of 70%.

  • 56 countries have a shorter work week than Belgium
  • 130 countries have a longer work week than Belgium

Bangladesh and Brazil are the two countries in the rankings with the most similar average hours worked per week.

Take a look at the full data set here: Average Work Hours Per Week For Every Country

Supporting Economic Data About Belgium

The average work week is dependent on a number of economic factors – a shorter or longer work week doesn’t necessarily mean high or lower prosperity. In this section, you’ll find some context to the economic activity behind Belgium’s average work week.

Located in Europe & Central Asia, Belgium has a population of 11,587,882 people as of 2021. Both the region name and the population count is gathered from public data provided by The World Bank.

Belgium’s economy is categorized to have “high income.” For context, here are the four categories that The World Bank uses to describe income levels:

  • Low income
  • Lower middle income
  • Upper middle income
  • High income

The gross domestic product (GDP) for Belgium in 2021 was $599,989,000,000.

This GDP figure is compiled by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF collects the GDP in the national currency for the country and then converts it to US dollars at the average exchange rate for that year.

With a GDP of $599,989,000,000 and a population of 11,587,882, Belgium’s GDP per capita is $51,777, which ranks 16 out of 181 countries with available data. The ranking is listed from highest GDP per capita to lowest.

  • 15 countries have a higher GDP per capita than Belgium
  • 165 countries have a lower GDP per capita than Belgium

The unemployment rate in Belgium is 6.42%, which ranks 87 out of 173 countries with available data. The ranking is listed from highest unemployment rate to lowest.

  • 86 countries have a higher unemployment rate than Belgium
  • 86 countries have a lower unemployment rate than Belgium

Does Belgium have a four-day work week?

Yes. Belgium does have an optional four-day work week.

In February 2022, a series of labor law reforms in Belgium passed, one of which gives workers the right to condense their work week from five days into four. Belgium has a 38-hour work for full-time employees. Workers who choose a four-day week would be expected to deliver the same amount of hours just in fewer days, making the labor reform an optional compressed schedule.

Learn more about the status of the four-day work week by country.

Notes About The Average Work Week In Belgium

The average you see for each country includes hours for full-time, part-time, and self-employed people, so this data should not be used as the standard full-time work week in Belgium. For example, if half of Belgium’s employed workers were full time (40 hours) and half were part time (20 hours), the weekly average would show 30 hours.

In addition, this data is “actual hours worked” so it does not account for time off (holidays, vacation days, leaves, etc.). For example, if someone worked 2,000 hours in a year, we would show the average week as 38.5 (2,000 divided by 52 weeks). If that person actually took four weeks of paid time off, their typical work week would actually be 41.7 (2,000 divided by 48 weeks) with four weeks off.

Therefore, this data should be used as a guide for average work hours per week across the whole working population and as a comparison to other countries, not as the standard full-time work week.

Additional Work Week Resources

At Buildremote, we provide in-depth coverage and advice about the changing nature of work. In particular, we’ve written about the work week itself quite a bit so your company can make changes to how it operates using data and proven tactics, instead of guesswork. Here are some related articles you may find useful:

Want to see how Belgium compares to other countries?

Take a look at the full data set here: Average Work Hours Per Week For Every Country

Are you preparing your company’s annual calendar?

Here’s a breakdown of all work days, work hours, and national holidays in the United States for 2023: How Many Work Hours & Days Are In A Month? [USA, 2023]

Need a new work schedule for your team?

We’ve built customizable templates for employee work schedules, corporate work weeks, shift work, entrepreneur schedules, and more: The Ultimate Work Schedule Template Library

Want to see which countries are adopting a four-day work week (or considering it)?

We track every company’s four-day work week laws, plans, proposals, and sentiment: The 4-Day Work Week Country: Does It Actually Exist?

Sources for the data in this article:

  • GDP data comes from the IMF
  • Annual work hours is from OECD
  • Population data comes from The World Bank
  • Unemployment data comes from The World Bank
  • All calculations, ratios, rankings and percentiles are done by Buildremote

About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and run a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a remote company. I hope if you read my site, you'll be spared.

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