Bosses resentful of New 'Working Time' law

August 2004
Management Services;Aug2004, Vol. 48 Issue 8, p7
Academic Journal
Eight in every ten employers think limiting working hours would affect their business as of August 2004. Great Britain is the only European Union country where working hours have increased on average over the last decade--but according to a survey by Croner, reversing this trend by limiting the number of work hours could risk losing their competitive edge. Respondents to the survey, which was collated via Croner's said that canceling the right to opt out of legislation which will restrict the average working week to a 48 hour maximum would have a negative effect on the British economy. These findings challenge whether Great Britain should fully adopt the European Union's Working Time Directive, from which the British government secured an opt-out in 1993. Although the Working Time Directive is intended to help employees achieve work/life balance through capping the number of hours they can legally work, Croner is alerting employers that it could actually do the opposite by imposing a more rigid structure whereby employees can no longer choose to work reasonable overtime. Over the past two years, the Office for National Statistics has reported a half-hour reduction in the average working week to 32 hours.


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