At 35 hours a week, France has the shortest working week in Europe. But this is only in legal terms: in reality, the French work more hours per week than the EU average.

As strikes over reforms to labour laws cause disruption across the country, here’s a look at how many hours workers in EU countries clock up each week.

Which European countries work the longest hours?
Image: Statista

For the French, the difference between the number of hours required (35) and the number of hours actually worked (37 and a half) is two and a half hours, which is more than the EU average.

It's not France but Greece that tops the list, though, with Greeks working a 42-hour week, according to 2013 OECD data. In Portugal and Spain, people also work longer than the EU average.

Despite a 48-hour weekly limit in the United Kingdom, Brits work less than 37 hours on average. Germans also work relatively short weeks: almost two hours less than the EU average. However, the country was still deemed to be one of the world's most competitive countries in 2015.

The shortest working week? That goes to the Netherlands, with the Dutch clocking off 12 hours earlier than the Greeks each week. This could be explained by the large number of Dutch people who choose to work part time. In the Netherlands, more than half of all workers are on part-time hours, compared with only a fifth of the working population in the EU.