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