Working week opt-out is "morally indefensible"

06-04-2009

Working week opt-out is
The UK's refusal to opt out of the 48 hour working week has been branded "morally indefensible, industrially unnecessary and politically profoundly undemocratic" by one industry expert.

In the opinion of Carolyn Jones, director of the Institute of Employment Rights companies will not get the most out of their employees if they are working such long hours.

She explained that Brits currently have the shortest holidays, yet spend the most time in the office in the whole of Europe.

Mr Jones continued: "You don't get high productivity by slaving people through long hours. It doesn't work. Figures show the complete opposite.

"High productivity is based on looking after the health and wellbeing of your workforce."

If possible, employees should avoid companies that operate with such blinkered thinking, says a spokesperson from ClickAJob.

"Enlightened companies are completely the opposite, going out of their way to encourage well-motivated and enthusiastic employees," he points out.

"Many even reproach staff for working longer hours than necessary, taking it as an indication that something is wrong," he continues.

"For staff to perform at their peak, leisure time is as important as work - even in the Nineteenth Century, companies knew that 'all work and no play makes jack a dull boy'."

The official rule on employment law in the UK is that if you are over the age of 18 you may chose to work more than 48 hours a week, although this decision must be voluntary and in writing.

Related categories: HR / Recruitment.


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