British workaholics win EU opt out deal
Agency staff granted more equal rights
The British government today secured landmark European Union agreements that will allow UK citizens to work more than 48 hours a week, and bring temp workers into line with permanent staff.
The compromise deal allows Blighty to opt out from the 1993 EU law on the Working Time directive, which sets the maximum length of the working week at 48 hours.
It’s a move that flies in the face of labour market rules in other EU countries and follows four years of bitter dispute between French and British-led camps on workers’ rights.
"This agreement means that people remain free to earn overtime and businesses can cope during busy times,” said business secretary John Hutton. "Securing the right for people to work longer if they choose to do so is hugely valuable to the British economy.”
The deal follows the UK.gov’s decision, backed by the CBI and the Trade Union Congress, in May to give temporary agency workers the same rights as permanent ones after 12 weeks on the job.
That was a national agreement inked between government, unions, and employer's groups after many months of Britain flatly rejecting original EU proposals that pushed for equal rights for temp workers from day one.
Last month the IT staffing industry howled in protest at the proposed employment legislation overhaul, claiming such an agreement would hamstring smaller firms.
Just last week the Federation of Small Businesses slammed government plans to give agency workers similar rights to full-time staff and described such a deal as being potentially "disastrous" for the UK economy.
Hutton had previously argued that bringing an estimated 1.4 million UK agency workers onto a level playing field with permanent staff over equal pay and holiday entitlement would cost jobs and make workers less competitive.
But today he said the EU’s Agency Worker directive "will give a fair deal for agency workers and prevent unfair undercutting of permanent staff while retaining important flexibility for businesses to hire staff for short-term seasonal contracts or key busy times." ®
Re: "Thats illegal"
So are lots of things in the wonderful world of work; doesn't stop them breaking the law, though, I mean what's the worst that's going to happen? Even in the unlikely event of some idealistic fool bothering with the aggravation and risk of going to court, at worst it'll be a slap on the wrist. But how's anyone going to prove anything when the likes of the "persuasion" to opt-out isn't documented, i.e. verbal threats or the cunning trick of handing you an unsigned (by HR) contract or revision to the Ts & Cs with a thoughtfully included opt-out form stapled to the back page ("oh, damn, the printer at our office has inconveniently broken just as I was printing the new contract so I've sent it to your manager's, it'd be so convenient if you could just sign it and pop it in the mail, then I'll have the head of HR sign it once we get it along with the opt out, haha did I really say opt-out? Slip of the tongue, /of course/ that's up to you. And you do know that team players will be rewarded whereas we may be downsizing soon, just thought I'd mention it since I'm on the line, no other reason, ahaha ahem.").
Odd would-be workaholics
What makes these over 40-hour week workers think they are so effective and productive? I have been there, done that, been admired for it and now realised just how ineffective, dangerous and self-destructive I was. Even now I am stuck on a 42 hour week. I notice that the long-hours types just spend more time "playing" at work: footling, drinking tea/coffee, smoking. Even they need a break.
Odd that France, just to take an example, has a markedly higher productivity per employee than Britain. Even odder that Brits love to spend their holidays there and rather a lot want the lifestyle enough to move there. Anti-EU nuts rave on about UK's wonderful performance: strange that on all the statistical measures Germany, even Italy and France, seem to do so much better (even allowing for the spin at which UK is an expert).
If you need 50 or 60 hours per week to do your job, I would suggest that you need to look at the job, what you are doing so badly and consider the resources really needed. Oh, and pay the extra health and social costs that your lifestyle is likely to cause for you and, if you have still got one, your family.
Remember who to vote for
At the next election
@AC Its bollox
"I had to opt out of the working time directive as part of my employment contract anyway.."
Withdraw consent after your probation. They could pro-rata pay cut you, but if they fire you, the DTI should spank them hard.
They sound like a bunch of cocks anyway.
I had one (American) potential employer want a 50 hour week, no overtime, but "time off in lieu" (not that its accrued at overtime rates), the statatory minimum of 20 days leave. Benefits that amounted to a whole £3k/year, and a fairly low pay for what they wanted.
A few months later another agency called me about the same job, looks like they are struggling to recruit and retain.
The skull and crossbones... because they want to work us to death
At the end of the day ...
The EU can GTFOH or (get the fu*k outta here) and take your working time directive bullsh*t with you!
I never voted for you so I'll never capitulate to your meaningless drivel and demands.