Jordan on the labour market

Jordan proposes a number of changes to employment law, and actually labels them as adding flexibility. Sadly they do not but seem to be a mirror of French and German policies which have seen unemployment shoot up to 10%.

Taking them in turn:

* the right to agree flexible working hours, consistent with the needs of the business.

Umm Jordan, this right already exists and it happens every single day. You don’t need to change the law to do this – you need employers and employees to agree – that’s all.

* more annual leave (the hedonistic Germans get six weeks, plus public holidays!)

Barely is the ink set on the increase to four weeks, and already a clamour for more. Is there a limit to how many weeks employers should pay people noy to actually work? At present it can strecth to two months out of every twelve with annual leave, public holidays and sick leave.

Big employers can handle extra annual leave requirements with some ease as they have so many staff. But let me tell you in a small business, it is bloody difficult and this would help cripple some small businesses.

* the right to sabbatical leave or leave without pay, say after two years in an organisation, to allow people to do the big OE or whatever but have a job to come back to (hard in small orgs but easy in big ones)

Again there is no need for Governmet here. Many organisations give staff leave without pay for extended breaks. Sometimes though they refuse because it will be too damaging for that organisation. By legislating you mandate a one size fit all approach.

* Statutory requirements for overtime pay on hours over a limit (44?) each week, and a bias towards shortening the working week for those who want this.

Yeah that has worked so well in France and Germany.

* Stronger requirements for management to consult with workers, and include them in business planning and decision-making.

Even better let’s just nationalise all businesses and hand them over to the workers.

What amazes me is how Jordan prescribes the most interventionist labour market regime possible, and calls it adding flexibility. Only in 1984.

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