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Solving the unemploment by shortening working week to 35 hours, is it positive or negative?

lisalisa Posts: 739 ✭✭✭
It is unquestionalbe rising unemployment is one of the most pressing issues in the industrial world. One solution that has been put forward is to cut the wroking week to a maximum of 35 hours. However, in my view this solution is rather controversial and other solutions need to be found.

It is fairly easy to understand the reasons why this proposal has been made. The reasoning is if workers were not allowed to work for more than 35 hours weekly, then the employers would be forced to engage more staff. There would be at least two advantages to this. Not only would unemployment be reduced, but the working conditions of employees on very long shifts would also be siginificantly improved. For example, a factory employing 300 manual workers doing 10 hours a day might employ 450 workers.

There is also, however, a strong argument not to implement this proposal. This argument is based on economic competitiveness. If a company was forced to employ more workers to produce the same amount of goods, then its wage bill would rise and the products might become more expensive and less competitive comparied to the companies with longer working weeks. In this case, it is possible that the company either might become insolvent or it would have to make some employees rundant. As a result, the intended benefit to the personel would not happen.

In summary, we can see that this is clearly a complex issue as there are significant advantages and disadvantages to this proposal. My own personal view is that it would be better not to introduce the shorten working week because it works only in theory and not in a practice.

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,095 mod
    This is precisely the problem France faces as they reduced the working hours but now are very uncompetitve. Their labour bills are high and there is a lot of unemployment @lisa.

    redundant (BritEng = laid off (AmEng)
  • lisalisa Posts: 739 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge I do not know the measures which Chinese government is implementing to. And it seems all friends I know have jobs, but some of them do not have social insurances.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,095 mod
    I think the ILO (International Labour Organisation) sets down that workers shouldn't work more than 48 hours a week @lisa. But more than this, I don't know what minimum standards exist across different countries with regards to social security.
  • lisalisa Posts: 739 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge We are often critized by the Human Right Organization because of overworking time, I think. I am proud of the rapid developnent speed of my motherland, but I have to admit that we sacrifice much of our rest time, most of workers in China work seven days without any rest day, but our next generations will say thanks to us, I think, without hard working from us, they have to work hard.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,095 mod
    There's more to life than working around the clock @lisa and I'm not sure if the next generation will be generous enough to appreciate the sacrifices their parents are making now.
  • lisalisa Posts: 739 ✭✭✭
    @mheredge I think they will appreciate the sacrifices we are making now, because I am indebted praticulary to the sacrifices of my parents, if they did not work hard, I could not afford the expense of the university. If I did not go to university, I was a farmer in my hometown, and I did not have any chances to share feelings or communicate with you.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 29,095 mod
    Me too @lisa, I am very grateful to my parents. I was very lucky in that I'm old enough for the state to have funded my education (they do not do so any more). Some youngsters are lucky enough to have parents paying for their university but most students these days have to take out loans.
  • lisalisa Posts: 739 ✭✭✭
    And I must work hard to save as much money as possbile for my daughter, because I do not want economic reasons to be some barriers in her future life.
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