FDs say 48 hours are not enough

Almost 50% of UK finance directors believe their company could fail if their staff were limited to working a 48-hour week.

With the TUC condemning Britain’s long-hours working culture as a ‘national disgrace’, the results of the latest Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel survey show there is no sign of it ending.

Some 45% of more than 400 FDs polled this week said their company could not function if all the staff, including the board, were forced to work a flat 48-hour week. One FD, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘Looking at France’s 35-hour working week, you can see the problems it’s causing regarding efficiency and employment for the business. You have to recognise that the hours worked cannot be put to a base minimum.’

Another FD said: ‘The flexibility and willingness to work additional hours enables firms to meet short-term rises in demand.’

Nevertheless, 49% of finance directors said their company could function if staff hours were cut. Mushroom Records FD Gavin Reed said: ‘Why shouldn’t everybody be able to do all their work in a 48-hour week? If they can’t it should be a staffing issue.’

PRIMA FD Simon Young said: ‘I appreciate employees need to be protected, though outside interference is unnecessary if people are not complaining’.

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