Germans worked 1,7 billion hours of overtime in 2020

Germans worked 1,7 billion hours of overtime in 2020

Germans worked 1,7 billion hours of overtime in 2020

Despite shops, restaurants and businesses closing last year due to the coronavirus in Germany, employees across the country clocked up almost 1,7 billion hours of overtime.

Overtime during the pandemic

At the request from The Left in the Bundestag, Germany’s federal government has revealed that employees in Germany worked 1,67 billion hours of overtime last year, despite the pandemic closing businesses across the country. The data was collected by the Institute for Employment Research.

The number of overtime hours in 2020 fell by around 10 percent compared to the previous year, when employees worked a total of 1,86 billion. However, overtime as a percentage of actual working hours only fell by 3,2 percent last year, which equates to only 0,3 percent less than in 2019. For part-time employees, this percentage is 3,6 percent higher than full-time employees.

Paid overtime

More than half of the overtime hours employees worked last year was unpaid, with 892 million hours of overtime unpaid, compared to 775 hours of paid overtime. Unpaid overtime did fall by 5,8 percent compared to 2019, however, paid overtime also decreased, but by 15,4 percent.

Jessica Tatti, who requested the figures and an MP for The Left, told reporters, “The employees simply have more work on the table than they can manage in the contractual working hours." She drew attention to the number of unpaid overtime hours that employees have worked in Germany over the years: "It pays off for employers. You save tens of billions in wage costs every year."

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

Read more



Leave a comment