Work hour constraints (WHC), or the mismatch between desired and actual worktime, can negatively affect work productivity, job satisfaction, worker health and job fluctuations.
This study analyzes the WHC trends in the German nursing market between 1990 and 2015.
Using data from 25 waves (1990–1995 and 1997–2015) of the German Socio-Economic Panel,the contractual, actual, and desired worktime among a representative sample of German nurses (N = 6493)were analyzed. The trends in over/underemployment for full and part-time nurses and the modalities/trends in overtime compensation were analyzed. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition was used to explain changes in worktime.
Although German nurses’ actual and contractual work hours decreased substantially between1990 and 2015, their desired work hours remained stable (31 h/week), precipitating a persistent gapbetween actual and desired work hours and an ongoing reliance on overtime. For full-time nurses,the actual work hours consistently exceeded the contracted ones by 3–6 hours. For part-time nurses,the actual and desired work hours have remained very similar, indicating ability to control workforce participation.
WHC remained persistently high over the quarter century studied, with overemployment affecting nearly half of the nursing workforce. Overemployment, resulting primarily from overtime, was high among full-time nurses. Study findings could guide the formulation of programs to optimize German nursing workforce participation.||en_US