Monday, 4 February 2013

Working Time Directive under the spotlight

For most of my career, I was fortunate in working for a very employee-friendly, some would say paternalistic, company.  Even so, I always had the protection of a contract that said, stripped to the basics, "we will give you £x if you do the following".  Such a contract was not unreasonable and both parties knew exactly what was expected of them.

'My' company was not unique in the way it cared for its employees but it was certainly not in the majority.  Hence the need for legislation to protect workers' employment rights.  Such rights were a long time coming and were only gained after many struggles by the ordinary working man: they were certainly not introduced by benevolent bosses.  Nowadays these rights are enshrined in the Working Time Directive from the EU and, in my opinion, gives employees reasonable protection against exploitation by unscrupulous employers.  These are amongst the rights that we stand to lose if the Euro-sceptics get their way and we pull out of the EU.  These are one of the good things we get from the EU and should be preserved.  Which of them do you think is unreasonable?  Which of them would you miss if it was taken away?  What do you think it would be like to work in a job without their protection? 

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