Dec 212008

So apparently the EU parliament has said that the UK opt-out on the EU working time directive has got to go, meaning no more than a 48 hour working week (averaged out over 17 weeks I believe). Of course this has UK business representatives whinging that this is unacceptable interference with business and it should be the choice of workers whether they work longer or not.

Yeah right. Tough!

Businesses all too often get things their own way, and I suspect (backed by some inside knowledge) that many workers do not in fact have much of a choice in the matter. After all we still have a higher average working week than most other European countries. In fact many British workers are in fact unaware of the EU Working Time directive.

Why is there a demand for long working hours? It is just is not very effective; tired workers are unlikely to be as productive as well rested ones, and in some jobs are more likely to have accidents. Entrepreneurs usually think their workers should work as hard as they do …

But often their workers are in fact working harder even if they are not working as long. And why should the workers work as hard as the entrepreneur ? They certainly will not get as greater reward; it is a rare worker who gets rich when his or her boss does.

And to those who say they cannot afford to live on what they would earn in a 48-hour week, well you need to get another job as you’re being ripped off. And to the apprentice mechanic who was interviewed on the BBC News, the right word for a “girlfriend” who needs money to stay interested is “prostitute”.

Strictly speaking it is not a final decision as the EU Parliament decision needs to go through various stages to be finally decided upon by the European Council. So much for democracy! But here’s hoping that the politicians finally have the courage to stick a finger up at businesses … going without all those expensive meals bought for you by business owners will be good for you and your waistline 🙂

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