Amicus deplores inflexibility over WTD opt-out

Roger
Lyons, Amicus joint general secretary, has slammed employers for resisting
government attempts to introduce flexible working arrangements.

He
said British management is short-sighted and is yet to realise that workers who
can fit work and life responsibilities together are more productive.

"Britain
has the longest working hours in Europe and lower productivity than France and
Germany who have the shortest," he said.

"The
key to success is investment in skills and new technology not longer
hours."

Lyons
quoted Personnel Today research which shows 78 per cent of British managers are
determined to retain the opt-out to the working time directive. He said this
runs against evidence published by the DTI that shows this has a negative
effect on productivity.

Lyons
said: "British Business will never win the productivity and
competitiveness [battle] needed for an international marketplace if it refuses
the flexibility required for a decent worklife balance.

“The
Government has made some gestures toward flexible working, giving employees the
right to ask for flexible working arrangements. Sadly, employers still retain
the right to say no and recent evidence suggests they fully intend to exercise
that right,” he said.

By Quentin Reade

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