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EU tries (and fails) yet again to scrap our 48-hour working week opt-out

Says the Beeb: "The UK's opt-out from the European Working Time Directive will remain in place after attempts by the European Parliament to phase it out failed. The opt-out enables UK workers to work more than 48 hours a week. Euro MPs wanted it phased out over three years. But talks between MEPs, member states and the European Commission failed to reach agreement on how to proceed."

This is one of those issues which constantly pisses me off. It's safe to say that my job pays pretty badly, and I resent these attempts by extremely well-paid politicians to tell me that I can't work more than a certain number of hours per week. Obviously there should be legislation in place to prevent people from being forced to work every hour of the day against their will - and there already is. But why should a politician be allowed to tell me how much work I can do?

Over to you.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I do this almost every week, I enjoy the money, and my department needs the work done... At the end of the day, most of my overtime is in done in the nude on the comfort of my couch with a laptop, lol :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I effectively no longer have any restrictions of numbers of hours in a working week, regardless of if we have an opt out or not, so I dont really care. :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So long as workers are not being forced to work such hours...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you're working those hours, it's rarely through choice. Either your workload is too high (and staffing levels are too low), hence all the overtime, or your basic wage is so insulting that you need to do 70 hours just to be able to live.

    Personally I think that you should be able to live on a 48-hour-week's wages and if you can't your employer is robbing you blind. There are some professions where longer hours are needed, but not many, and not consistently.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    If you're working those hours, it's rarely through choice. Either your workload is too high (and staffing levels are too low), hence all the overtime, or your basic wage is so insulting that you need to do 70 hours just to be able to live.

    Personally I think that you should be able to live on a 48-hour-week's wages and if you can't your employer is robbing you blind. There are some professions where longer hours are needed, but not many, and not consistently.
    Excellent points.

    Some people should stop opposing anyting that comes out of the EU by default and see it as an attack on 'British independence', and realise such measures are there to protect ordinary people. Too bad that a lot of folk adhere to arguments and claims of the right wing press (which of course is only serving the interests of its tycoon, large employer proprietors) without stopping to think.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree, I work a 38 hour week with overtime if I want it. But I don't, I like getting home at a reasonable hour and spending time with my wife.

    If people want to work longer hours then fine, let them. I personally don't want to.
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    SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    Kermit wrote: »
    If you're working those hours, it's rarely through choice. Either your workload is too high (and staffing levels are too low), hence all the overtime, or your basic wage is so insulting that you need to do 70 hours just to be able to live.

    Most people I know who work overtime could live on 48 hours a week. I could, I don't get paid badly at all. But I like having overtime available to me, a bit of extra cash is always welcome. I generally work between 50 and 60 hours a week - from time to time it's more than that.

    When it comes down to it I like the fact I have choice, which is surely the way it should be. If I don't lke it I wouldn't do it, and maybe look for another job.
    Weekender Offender 
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    IME a lot of people working those hours aren't in a position to choose. Certainly speaking from personal experience, at a couple of employment agencies I refused to sign the opt-out- guess how much work came my way?

    The only time I've worked those sorts of hours is when I've needed to, either financially or because the workplace was so badly understaffed that the work couldn't be done otherwise. Coincidentally, that was the job where I was earning £11,500pa for a 37.5 hour basic week.
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    SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    My experience is completely different. I've always soiught out jobs where there plenty of overtime available. Most of the people I've worked with will jump at the chance overtime not because there on shit pay but because a lot of people choose to work those extra few hours for a bit more money.

    Maybe there 's other ways to go about protecting the people you talk about without taking away the availablity of overtime for those that truely want to work it, like myself. Why should I suffer here?

    I work and travel nationwide and often do 19 hour days. It would prevent me from doing my job so effectively and without a doubt it would result in higher costs for our customers. It just doesn't make sense to me - especially in the current climate.
    Weekender Offender 
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree, but I also agree with Kermit that you certainly shouldn't be able to get employees to sign a piece of paper saying they opt out. It should be like a break at work. If you really want to work through your legal entitlement for lunch, you can, but your employer can't ask you to agree to this in any sort of official way.
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    SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    Part of the directive is to make time spent 'on call' count towards the 48 hours which is plain stupid. It would mean the week I spent on call I wouldn't even go into work. My week days would have me starting at 5pm and ending at Midnight.

    Seeing as I only get a set 200 extra a week for being on call + any call out hours I'd earn fuck all money if it were a quiet week.
    It's either that or my company having to pay me for normal wage for my time on call where I might not even be earnign them any money.

    It wouldn't benifit anybody.
    Weekender Offender 
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But equally the law has time on call counted as part of a working week to protect people who would otherwise be screwed out of getting the minimum wage. That might not affect people like you, but in my time working for CABx I've come across plenty of people who've been screwed over like that.

    I think it's one of those situations where there isn't a good compromise. Employees should be allowed to choose to work more if they want, but employers can't be trusted to make that a valid choice. Signing a piece of paper is far too open to abuse and it is frequently abused.

    I know plenty of people who work in the care industry, as a random example, who 'voluntarily' choose to work 70 hour weeks. Their 'choice' is that they work the hours or find a new job. The 'overtime' is paid at minimum wage.

    It's the same for most people working at the bottom of the pile- cleaners, security guards, retail workers, they all get exploited by their employers because of the opt-out.

    Sadly, though, I don't think the EWTD will actually work. Instead of getting paid for the work, the people at the bottom of the pile will end up doing unofficial overtime instead, and they won't get paid for it.
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