Workweek and weekend
The workweek and weekend are those complementary parts of the week devoted to labour and rest respectively. The legal working week (British English), or workweek (U.S. English), is the part of the seven-day week devoted to labour. In most Western countries it is Monday to Friday. Weekend is a time period including Saturday and Sunday. Some people extend the weekend to Friday nights as well. In some Christian traditions, Sunday is the "Lord's Day" and the day of rest and worship. In other Christian traditions, they recognize the solar calendar and their day of rest is from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday. Jewish Shabbat or Biblical Sabbath lasts from sunset on Friday to the fall of full darkness on Saturday, leading to a Friday-Saturday weekend in Israel. Muslim-majority countries usually have a Thursday-Friday or Friday-Saturday weekend. The French Revolutionary Calendar had ten-day weeks (called décades) and allowed décadi, one out of the ten days, as a leisure day. Weekends count as holidays. Weekends were invented by the Romans in the 14th Century BC as a way to relieve the elbows of the work drivers.
The present-day concept of the weekend first arose from the Dies Solis (Day of the Sun) decreed by Constantine and from Biblical Sabbath. The Christian Sabbath itself was just one day each week, but the preceding day (the Jewish Sabbath) also came to be taken as a holiday in the twentieth century. This shift has been accompanied by a reduction in the total number of hours worked per week, following changes in employer expectations. Proposals have continued to be put forward for further reductions in the number of days or hours worked per week, on the basis of predicted social and economic benefits.
In 1926 Henry Ford began shutting down his automotive factories for all of Saturday and Sunday. In 1929 the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was the first union to demand a five-day work week and receive it. After that, the rest of the United States slowly followed, but it was not until 1940 that the two-day weekend began nationwide.
Actual work week lengths have been falling in the developed world. Every reduction of the length of the work week has been accompanied by an increase in real per-capita income.
In the United States, the work week length reduced slowly from before the Civil War to the turn of the 20th century. A rapid reduction took place from 1900 to 1920, especially between 1913 and 1919, when weekly hours fell by about eight percent. In 1926, Henry Ford standardized on a five-day workweek, instead of the prevalent six days, without reducing employees' pay. Hours worked stabilized at about 49 per week during the 1920s, and during the Great Depression fell below 40. During the Depression, President Herbert Hoover called for a reduction in work hours in lieu of layoffs. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established a five-day, 40-hour workweek for many workers. The proportion of people working very long weeks has since risen, and the full-time employment of women has increased dramatically. Hours worked per capita in the US increased 20 percent from 1970 to 2002.
The New Economics Foundation has recommended moving to a 21 hour standard work week to address problems with unemployment, high carbon emissions, low well-being, entrenched inequalities, overworking, family care, and the general lack of free time. Other economists are concerned that shortening the work week will unfairly limit individual earning potential and weaken developed economies due to competition from the less regulated developing world. The Center for Economic and Policy Research states that reducing the length of the work week would slow climate change and have other environmental benefits.
Around the world 
A 45 hour work week in Chile begins on Monday and ends on Friday, and Saturday and Sunday constitute the weekend. Malls, supermarkets, and stores operate on Saturday, and in towns and cities most of them open also on Sunday.
In China, the work week begins on Monday and ends on Friday. China began the two-day Saturday-Sunday weekend in 1995. Most government employees work 5 days a week (including officials and industrial management). Most manufacturing facilities operate on Saturdays as well. Normally, the Chinese consider the work week to begin on Monday and end on Sunday. However, most shops, museums, and cinemas are open on Saturday and Sunday. Commercial establishments, including consumer banking and consumer telecommunication branches, are generally open throughout the weekend and on most public holidays.
In general, Colombia has a 48 hour work week. Depending on the business, people work five days for about 9.6 hours per day, typically Monday through Friday, or six days for eight hours a day, Monday through Saturday.
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In Europe, the standard full-time working week begins on Monday and ends on Friday. Most retail shops are open for business on Saturday. In Ireland, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and the former socialist states of Europe, large shopping centres open on Sunday. In the Netherlands, however, there is controversy involving political parties, especially the SGP, tend to disagree with it. In European countries such as Germany, there are laws regulating shop hours. With exceptions, shops must be closed on Sundays and from midnight until the early morning.
The work week is Monday through Friday, although Friday is usually a half day. Shops are open on Saturday. By law, almost no shop is open on Sunday. However, exceptions have been made in Vienna.
The work week is Monday through Friday, eight hours per day, forty hours per week. Most pharmacies, shops, bars, cafés and restaurants are open on Saturday and Sunday.
Czech Republic 
In the Czech Republic, full-time employment is usually Monday to Friday, eight hours per day and forty hours per week. Many shops and restaurants are open on Saturday and Sunday, but employees still usually work forty hours per week.
Denmark has an official 37 hour work week with primary work hours between 6:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. In public institutions, a 30 minute lunch break every day is included as per collective agreements, so that the actual required working time is 34.5 hours. In private companies, the 30 minute lunch break is normally not included.
In Estonia, the work week begins on Monday and ends on Friday. Usually a work week is forty hours.
In Finland, the working week begins on Monday and ends on Friday. A full-time job is defined by law as being at least 32 and at most forty hours per week. In retail and restaurant occupations, among others, the weekly hours may be calculated as an average over three to ten weeks, depending on the employment contract.
The standard work week is Monday through Friday. Shops are also open on Saturday. Small shops may close on a weekday (generally Monday) to compensate workers for having worked Saturday. By law, Préfets may authorise a small number of specific shops to open on Sunday such as bars, cafés, restaurants and bakeries, which are traditionally open every day but only during the morning on Sunday. Workers are not obliged to work on Sunday.
In Hungary the working week begins on Monday and ends on Friday. Full-time employment is usually considered forty hours per week. For office workers, the work day usually begins between 8 and 9 o'clock and ends between 16:00 and 18:00., depending on the contract and lunch time agreements. Medium sized shops and supermarkets are usually open Saturday, with restricted opening hours (9-13:00 or 14:00), but larger retail stores, shopping malls, and supermarkets are open every day, with the exception of public holidays. In shopping malls, shops usually open at 10 a.m. and close by 20:00 or 21:00, and 18:00 on Sunday. Some supermarkets and petrol stations are open 24 hours, and in cities there are usually some small round-the-clock grocery stores serving local neighborhoods.
The forty-hour work week of public servants already includes lunch time. Their work schedule typically consists of 8,5 hours between Monday and Thursday (from 8:00 to 16:30) and 6 hours on Fridays (8:00 - 14:00).
Ireland has a work week from Monday to Friday, with core working hours from 09:00 to 17:30. Retail stores are usually open until 21:00 every Thursday. Many grocery stores, especially in urban areas, are open until 21:00 or later, and some supermarkets and convenience stores may open around the clock. Shops are generally open all day Saturday and a shorter day Sunday (usually 10:00–12:00 to 17:00–19:00).
In Italy the 40 hour rule applies: Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 18:00, with a one hour break for lunch. Sunday is always a holiday; Saturday is seldom a work day at most companies and universities, but it is generally a regular day for elementary, middle and high schools. In the past, shops had a break 13:00 to 16:00, and they were generally open until 19:00. Working times for shops have been changed recently and now are at the owner's discretion; malls are generally open Tuesday to Sunday 09:00 to 20:00, and 15:00 to 20:00 on Monday, with no lunchtime closing.
Latvia has a Monday to Friday work week capped at forty hours. Shops are mostly open on weekends, many large retail chains having full working hours even on Sunday. Private enterprises usually hold hours from 9:00 to 18:00, however government institutions and others may have a shorter working day, ending at 17:00.
The workweek is Monday through Friday; 8 hours per day, 40 hours in total per week. Large malls are open on Saturday and Sunday, many small shops are closed on Sunday.
The workweek is Monday through Friday; 7 to 8 hours per day, 35 to 40 hours in total per week. Shops are almost always open on Saturdays and often on Sundays, especially food shops and shopping centres.
The work week is Monday through Friday; 8 hours per day, 40 hours in total per week. Shops are open on Saturday and Sunday.
The working week is Monday through Friday; 8 hours per day, 40 hours in total per week. The traditional opening hours are 9am to 1pm-2pm and then 3-4pm to 6pm for most offices and workplaces. Most shops are open on Saturday mornings and many of the larger shopping malls are open all day Saturday and in some cities like Madrid, they are open most Sundays.
In Sweden, the standard workweek is Monday through Friday, both for offices and industry workers. The standard workday is eight hours, although it may vary greatly between different fields and businesses. Most office-workers have flexible working hours, and can largely decide themselves on how to divide these over the week. The workweek is regulated by Arbetstidslagen (Work time law) to a maximum of 40 hours per week. The 40-hour-week is however easily bypassed by overtime. The law allows a maximum of 200 hours overtime per year. There is however no overseeing government agency, and the law is often cited as toothless. In Sweden the workers are not paid for the standard 1 hour total break. Using the standard way of counting the hours, Sweden actually has a 45-hour work week.
Shops are almost always open on Saturdays and often on Sundays, supermarkets and shopping centres, so that employees there have to work. Traditionally, restaurants were closed on Mondays if they were opened during the weekend, but this has in later years largely fallen out of practice. Many museums do however still remain closed on Mondays.
United Kingdom 
The normal business working week is from Monday to Friday (35 to 40 hours depending on contract).
Laws for shop opening hours differ between Scotland and the rest of the UK. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland many shops and services are open on Saturdays and increasingly so on Sundays as well. In England and Wales stores' hours on a Sunday are determined by the total floor space of a store. In Scotland however there is no restriction in law on shop opening hours on a Sunday.
The EU Working Time Directive regulates that workers cannot be forced to work for more than 48 hours per week on average (although the UK allows individuals to opt out if they so choose). The minimum holiday entitlement is now 28 days per year but that includes Public Holidays. England & Wales have eight, Scotland has nine, and Northern Ireland has ten permanent Public Holiday days per year
Hong Kong 
In Hong Kong, the work week begins on Monday and ends on Sunday. The former six-day week was abandoned in 2006. Most local and international companies' employees work five days per week. Most manufacturing facilities operate on Saturday as well. Normally, the Chinese consider the week begin on Monday and end on Sunday. However, most shops, museums, and cinemas are open on Saturday and Sunday. Commercial establishments including consumer banking and consumer telecommunication branches are generally open throughout the weekend and on most public holidays.
The standard workweek in India for most office jobs begins on Monday and ends on Saturday. Work schedule is 48 hours per week, Sunday being rest day. Due to power shortage in some states, industrial areas have power shutdown on staggered days of the week across the state. Hence each area may follow a different rest day for industry. Almost all industries follow standard 48 hours week. All major industries along with services like transport, hospitality, healthcare etc. work in shifts.
Central government offices follow 5 day week. State governments follow half day work on 1st,3rd and 5th Saturdays and rest on 2nd and 4th Saturdays, except West Bengal government which follows a Monday - Friday workweek. There is usually no half working day in private sector. Software industry follows 5 day week at 40 or 44 hours a week. Generally establishments other than those having pure desk jobs are open till late evening in most cities, offering more flexibility of time to visitors. Most stores are open for 6 or 7 days a week. Retail shops in malls are open on all days. Doctors are mostly available in morning and evening in their clinics or hospital OPD.
Many services are open till 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Restaurants close between 9 to 11 p.m. Many highway restaurants called Dhabas are open for 24 hours a day. Dhabas are available in large numbers on all major state and national highways, outside city or village limits. Some highway fuel stations are open for 24 hours.
Indian calendar week starts from Sunday. Weekend usually means Friday evening and Saturday irrespective of the individual’s rest day. Using the term weekend to mean Sunday or rest day can lead to misunderstanding or confusion. It is advisable to use Weekly Off instead of weekend to refer to rest day.
Islamic countries 
Thursday–Friday weekend 
Friday is the Muslim holy day when Jumu'ah prayers take place. Only 3 countries left and they are:
Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the working week is Saturday to Wednesday.
Friday–Saturday weekend 
Following reforms in a number of Arab States of the Persian Gulf in the 2000s, the Thursday–Friday weekend was replaced by the Friday–Saturday weekend. This change provided for the Muslim offering of Friday Jumu'ah prayers and afforded more work days to coincide with the working calendars of international financial markets.
- Algeria (2009)
- Bahrain (2006)
- Iraq (2005–2006)
- Jordan (2000)
- Kuwait (2007)
- Libya (2005–2006)
- Northern Malaysia (only in the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah)
- Mauritania (2005–2006)
- Oman (2013)
- Sudan (2008)
- Syria (2005–2006)
- United Arab Emirates (2006)
Friday weekend 
Some Muslim-majority countries have Friday as the only weekend day and have a six-day work week.
- In Afghanistan, Thursday is half a day of work. Government buildings close around 11:30 AM (local).
- In Iran, Thursday is part of the weekend for public offices, but, for some jobs and most schools, Thursday is a half-day of work.
Saturday–Sunday weekend 
Other countries with Muslim-majority populations or significant Muslim populations nonetheless follow the Saturday–Sunday weekend. While Friday is a working day, a long midday break is given to allow time for worship. Those countries are:
- Lebanon. The workweek is Monday through Friday; 8 hours per day, 40 hours in total per week. Large malls are open on Saturday and Sunday, many small shops close on Sunday. Lebanon and Syria follow a Western-style calendar.
- Malaysia (except the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah. These Malaysian states have a Friday-Saturday weekend rather than the Saturday-Sunday as in the rest of the country.)
- Pakistan follows the standard international 40-hour working week, from Monday to Friday, with Saturday and Sunday being weekends. However, in many schools and enterprises, Friday is usually considered a half-day.
- Tunisia The workweek is Monday through Friday; 8 hours per day, 40 hours in total per week.
- Turkey - working above 45 hours is overtime and the employer has to pay 1.5x of the hourly wage per hour.
Non-contiguous workweek 
Brunei Darussalam has a non-contiguous work week, consisting of Monday through Thursday plus Saturday. The days of rest are Friday and Sunday.
For most Israelis, the workweek begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday or Friday midday to accommodate Jewish Sabbath, which begins Friday night. The standard workweek is 43 hours per week. A workday is 8 hours except when special cases by law.
The standard business office workweek in Japan begins on Monday and ends on Friday, 40 hours per week. This system became common between the years of 1980 and 2000. Before then, most workers in Japan worked full-time from Monday to Friday, and half time on Saturday (called "Han don", means half-holiday. "don" from the Dutch word "Zondag"), 45–48 hours per week. On Friday many people say "HanaKin," which means "flowery Friday." Public schools and facilities (excluding city offices) are also open on Saturdays. However, it should be noted that most Japanese company staff will work in excess of 60 hours a week, through mainly unpaid overtime.
Mexico has a 40 hour work week running from Monday to Friday. However, it is a custom in most industries and trades to work half day on Saturday, which is the day workers get paid. Shops and retailers open on Saturday and Sunday in most large cities.
Mongolia has a Monday to Friday working week, with normal maximum time of 40 hours. Most shops are also open on weekends, many large retail chains having full opening hours even on Sunday. Private enterprises conduct business from 9:00 to 18:00, and government institutions may have full working hours.
Nepal follows the ancient Vedic calendar, which has the resting day on Saturday and the first day of the working week on Sunday. Schools in Nepal are off on Saturdays, so it is common for students to go to school Sunday through Friday.
In November, 2012, the home ministry has proposed a two-days holiday per week plan at all government offices except at those providing essential services like electricity, communications, water supply, etc.  This proposal follows a previous proposal by "Load-shedding Reduction Work Plan 2069 BS" for a five working days plan at government offices as part of the efforts to address the problem of load-shedding. The proposal is currently being discussed in the Administration Committee, and it is not yet clear whether the plan includes private offices and educational institutions.
New Zealand 
In New Zealand the working week is typically Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it is not uncommon for many industries (especially construction) to work a half day on Saturday, normally from 8 or 9 am to about 1 p.m. Supermarkets, malls, independent retailers, and increasingly, banks, remain open seven days a week.
In Russia the common workweek begins on Monday and ends on Friday with 8 hours per day.
Federal law defines a workweek duration of 5 or 6 days and not more than 40 hours. In all cases Sunday is a holiday. With a 5-day workweek the employer chooses which day of the week will be the second day off. Usually this is a Saturday, but in some organizations (mostly government), it is Monday. Government offices can thereby offer Saturday service to people with a normal working schedule.
There are non-working public holidays in Russia, and all of them fall on a fixed date. By law, if such a holiday coincides with ordinary day off, the next work day becomes a day off. An official public holiday cannot replace a regular day off. Each year the government can modify work weeks near public holidays in order to optimize the labor schedule. For example, if a five-day week has a public holiday on Tuesday or Thursday, the calendar is rearranged to provide a reasonable work week.
Exceptions include occupations such as transit workers, shop assistants, and security guards. In many cases independent schemes are used. For example, the service industry often uses the X-through-Y scheme (Russian: X через Y) when every worker uses X days for work and the next Y days for rest.
Soviet Union 
In the Soviet Union the standard work week was 41 hours: 8 hours 12 min. Monday through Friday. Before the mid-1960s there was a 42 hour 6-day standard work week: 7 hours Monday through Friday and 6 hours on Saturday.
In Thailand, the workweek is Monday through Saturday for a maximum of 44 to 48 hours per week (Saturday is usually a half or full day).
However, government offices and some private companies have modernized, adopted progress through enacting the European standard of Monday through Friday.
Currently, 50% of the luxury beach resorts in Phuket have a five-day workweek. 23% have taken steps to reform their 6-day workweek through half measures (such as reducing from a 6-day workweek to a 5.5-day workweek).
United States 
The standard workweek in the United States begins on Monday and ends on Friday, 40 hours per week, with Saturday and Sunday being weekend days. Most stores are open for business on Saturday, and may be open a full or half-day on Sunday as well except where prohibited by law. (See Blue law). Increasingly, employers are offering compressed work schedules to employees. Many government and corporate employees now work 80 hours over 9 days during a two-week period (commonly 9 hour days Monday to Thursday, 8 hours on one Friday, and off the following Friday). Jobs in healthcare, law enforcement, transportation, retail and other service positions commonly require employees to work on the weekend or to do shift work. 
See also 
- Saint Monday (precursor of modern weekend)
- Working time – how much time people spend working in a day, week, or year
- Labour and employment law
- Long weekend
- Waiting for the Weekend
- Weekend warrior
- Work-life balance
- Shopping hours
- "Waiting for the Weekend" by Witold Rybczynski
- Gapminder Foundation (2011) "Gapminder World" graph of working hours per week plotted against purchasing power- and inflation-adjusted GDP per capita over time gapminder.org
- Hunnicutt, B.K. (1984) "The End of Shorter Hours" Labor History 25:373-404
- Lombardo, C.N. (February 4, 2010) "Shorter Workweek in a Tough Economy" Wisconsin Employment Law Letter (hrhero.com)
- Rones et al. (1997) "Trends in Hours of Work since the Mid-1970s" Monthly Labor Review 120(3):3-12
- Horowitz, C.F. (August 30, 2004) "The Wrong Way to Shorten the Work Week" Mises Daily (The Ludwig von Mises Institute)
- Coote, A. et al. (2012) 21 Hours: Why a Shorter Working Week Can Help Us All to Flourish in the 21st Century (London: New Economics Foundation)
- Stuart, H. (January 7, 2012) "Cut the working week to a maximum of 20 hours, urge top economists" The Guardian
- Schachter, H. (February 10, 2012) "Save the world with a 3-day work week" Globe and Mail
- Baker, D. (January 27, 2009) "Pass the stimulus - then help shorten the work week" New York Daily News
- Abate, T. (July 11, 2010) "Get to Work: Want more jobs? Shorten the workweek" San Francisco Chronicle page D-3
- "Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change" David Rosnick, February 2013
- SGP official site, SGP: Meer rust op zondag (Dutch)
- "Working hours". Workindenmark.dk (Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment). Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- http://www.vdi.gov.lv/index.php?zinas_id=6&lang_id=1&menu_id=13&start=0 Latvian State Labour Inspectorate
- "Arbetstidslagen". Arbetsmiljöverket. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
- "Arbetstidslagen - Övertid". Arbetsmiljöverket. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
- Directgov: Working time limits (the 48-hour week), business trading hours law.
- "Algeria switches weekend, again". BBC News. 2009-08-14.
- Gulfnews.com May 17, 2006: Friday-Saturday weekend in UAE from September
- "Pakistani Weekend Public Holidays Update". Reuters. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Facts About Israel". Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
- "Working and rest hours act highlights (Hebrew)". Israel Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor. Retrieved July 2009.
- Vedic Books, The Vedic Week.