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French outwhine Brits in the workplace

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The French have confirmed their position as the world's top workplace whiners, beating whinging Brits into second place on the international scale of dissatisfaction.

Research group FDS probed 14,000 moaning employees in 23 countries and rated their overall "whinginess" on various factors, including "percentage of workers unhappy with pay, actual income relative to cost of living, percentage of workers who feel work impinges on private life, and average weekly working hours".

Our Gallic cousins bellyached their way to top spot, leaving the UK sharing second spot with the Swedes, and the US putting in a good effort in fourth. Rather happier workers were found in The Netherlands, Thailand, and "least whingy" Ireland.

While UK employees will doubtless bemoan at some length the loss of national prestige caused by French complaining, it's nonetheless an impressive performance. Specifically, 37 per cent of Brits moan they don't get enough holidays - the highest percentage in Europe. Forty per cent reckon they don't get paid enough, and a fifth believe "having to care for children, the time it takes to commute to work, and not enjoying the work they do are issues for them in the workplace".

FDS managing director Charlotte Cornish offered: "After the French, British employees are the most likely to be dissatisfied with their work situation, despite their relative good fortune. It's also interesting to note that after France, Britain and Sweden, the world's biggest workplace whingers are Americans, despite their having by far the highest levels of income relative to their cost of living.

"Compare them to Thai workers: while real levels of income are more than eight times higher in the States, more workers in the US feel their pay is a problem than in Thailand."

The top 10 whiners worldwide are: 1 France, =2 UK, =2 Sweden, 4 USA, =5 Australia, =5 Portugal, =7 Canada, =7 Greece, 9 Poland, =10 Germany, =10 Spain. ®

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