Working for the weekend

The weekend we all take for granted is only a relatively recent blessing.

President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 to establish a five-day, 40-hour workweek by law for many workers. In 1940 it went into effect and the two-day weekend was adopted across America.

Over the succeeding decades, particularly in the 1940s to 1960s, an increasing number of countries adopted either a Friday–Saturday or a Saturday–Sunday weekend to harmonize with international markets.

A series of workweek reforms in the mid-to-late 2000s and early 2010s brought much of the Arab World in line with the majority of countries around the globe, in terms of working hours, the length of the workweek and the days of the weekend.

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