Monday, August 27, 2007

ALL WORK AND NO PLAY FOR BRITISH WORKERS

As Britain celebrates the last Bank holiday weekend of the year, union leaders are calling for an extra three Bank holidays to be brought in. Britain together with the Netherlands currently has eight Bank holidays a year, the least Bank holidays of any country in Europe. The European average is 10.8 days. Additionally many employees are forced to rely on the generosity of their employers to be able to take public holidays as time off. There is currently no statutory right for Bank holidays to be taken as time off or for employees to be paid for them.

In addition, it was discovered that many employers are flouting the law and not allowing their staff to take the statutory four weeks’ paid leave per year. Britons already work much longer hours than their European neighbours, putting their health at risk. It seems that too many employers are putting profits before the wellbeing of their staff. No wonder Britain has a much lower productivity rate than its European neighbours.

4 comments:

sank said...

Oh my goodness... Where to even start. You don't want to know what we American workers get for holidays and vacation time. It's pretty sad, we look across the pond with envy at our British, and especially French friends.

Typical here- three holidays in the summer, Christmas, New Years and Thanksgiving in the winter. 2 weeks of vacation a year...

Naomi said...

I know that the hours of work are very long, particularly in office jobs in the U.S., compared to here in England Sank. One of my American friends starts work in her office at 7.30am - unheard of here in England!

P.S. I received your carnival post but haven't had a chance to look at it yet. Will e-mail you over the weekend

Alastair said...

Having just got back from France, I have to say their attitude to work is much healthier! They tend to have much longer lunch hours and make time to be with either workmates or family (or the mistress!!!) socially. At the same time, though Anglo-American types often look down on their more haphazard approach to working life, the French are quite productive, and having a house in France my experience of public services and utilities is that their service is excellent, though their contact with the public can leave something to be desired! Their roads and health service are excellent - though the French pay through higher taxes too...

Naomi said...

I love France and the French lifestyle Alastair. You are so lucky to have a house there. I think we could learn a lot from our French cousins. I personally wouldn't mind paying higher taxes for a better lifestyle and health service. I think their approach to working life is much better than ours too. It's important to strike a balance. Working isn't the be all and end all. Life is very precious and spending quality time with family and friends is important.