Staff willing to take pay cut to gain more free time

More
than a quarter of employees would accept a cut in wages if it meant they could
work fewer hours, according to a report released today.

The
study, Actual and Preferred Working Hours by the University of Essex, reveals
that one in three men and one in four women would prefer to work fewer hours
and accept a cut in wages – compared to only 10 per cent of employees who would
like to increase the hours they work.

"Although
a large proportion of employees in Britain work more hours than they wish,
there does appear to be some flexibility that allows hours to be adjusted,"
said Dr Mark Taylor, co-author of the study.

"But
some jobs are more rigid in their hours, which may be caused by employer
preferences, technology or industrial relations. What’s more, the costs of
changing jobs mean that some people persistently work more hours than they
would prefer."

The
report also finds that employees prefer to increase their working hours when
local unemployment rates are high and attributes this to job insecurity, fear
of redundancy and a lack of alternative employment.

The
report polled 3,000 employees.

By Paul Nelson

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