Loss of WTD opt-out will hurt the poorest

I take the cynical view that all government strategies are introduced to enhance statistics, so I agree with Emma Nash’s letter (Personnel Today, 24 May).

There are many people whose standard of living is enhanced by the fact that they can work as many as 60 hours per week.

But do you think that people working overtime actually want to work all those hours? They work because they need to earn a living wage.

Many shop and production staff (my family included), not to mention temps and office workers, are often paid a low salary in comparison
to the cost of accommodation and subsistence.

By doing overtime, they bump their salaries up enough for them to save, or to meet their regular mortgage or rental payments.

They should not be expected to work long hours on a regular basis, and one hopes that if they were feeling tired they would do the odd basic week, without any obligation to their employers.

But for some organisation, far removed from the daily grind, to take the overtime option away, without considering the individual’s right to choose, is like removing bread from their mouths.

I would urge HR, government and employers alike to look at the whole picture from all sides before jumping on any bandwagons.

Annette Smith
PA to the managing director
Peerless Europe

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