Économie et Statistique n° 486-487Work and health
Sunday work, time use and social and family life : an analysis based on the Time Use survey
The debates pertaining to Sunday work oppose on one side advocates of the freedom to work without any restrictions, who highlight gains in the competitiveness of the economy and employment opportunities created by Sunday opening for shops, and on the other side champions of time devoted to church-going, increasingly few in number, and advocates of time set aside generally for community life and family. The first group cite changes in society, consumption patterns and economic competition in a globalised world while the second group invoke socio-historical work patterns, the socio-anthropological dimension of Sundays and the need to preserve it as a special day. Little reference is made on either side to the living and working conditions of employees required to work on Sundays. The study conducted here based on the Time Use survey, although not in itself an investigation of the impact of Sunday work, enables comparison of the use of time of those working on Sundays with individuals not working on that day. According to econometric estimates, working on Sundays is associated with a loss of social time with family and friends and a reduction in leisure time greater than losses observed on a weekday and which are not generally fully offset by the compensatory day of rest. In addition, employees to whom Sunday work, an atypical form of work, applies are also those most affected by atypical working hours on weekdays.