Wednesday, 17 December 2008

EU vote on Working Time Directive

MEPs are voting later today on whether to abolish the UK's derogation on the Working Time Directive that allows workers to choose whether or not they want to work more than 40 hours per week.

The EU is a socialist behemoth and naturally supports abolishing the rights of workers to decide how many hours they work but in the real world businesses and workers are worried. For some people, working long hours is the only way to pay the bills.

In the soviet dream-land occupied by most European politicians, a brain surgeon and a road sweeper should get the same pay but on planet earth that's not the case and it's never going to be the case and so tens of thousands of people have no choice but to work long hours to put food on the table.

The latest estimate is that there may be up to 3 million unemployed people in the next year or so as businesses cut costs and shed jobs to cope with the global recession. Employing more people to do the same amount of work as their current workers is simply going to drive a thousands of employers out of business. The cost of an employee isn't a simple calculation of x pounds multiplied by the number of hours they work, there are insurances, admin costs, equipment costs, etc. for every employee before they even do an hours work.

Struggling companies don't need these extra costs. If the EU is serious about wanting to tackle recession then the last thing they should be doing is increasing the burden on employers.