British workers playing their part in getting the UK out of its financial hole

Published: Thu Dec 08 2011

British workers are doing their bit to help dig the UK economy out of its financial hole.

But UKIP’s East Midlands MEP and employment spokesman Derek Clark has warned our working patterns are under threat from EU meddling.

His comments followed a new report which revealed full-time employees in the UK work longer hours than the EU average, with only those in Austria and Greece putting in a longer week.

The UK average of 42.7 hours compares with 41.6 across the European Union, with the shortest hours recorded in Denmark at 39.1, said the Office for National Statistics.

The UK also has the highest percentage of part-time workers at 27 per cent, compared with 20 per cent in the EU as a whole, after increasing from 24 per cent in 1992.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said smarter working practices and an end to pointless ‘presenteeism’ would help workers.

But Mr Clark countered: "These figures from the ONS make it clear that people are playing their part in working to get the UK out of its financial hole.

"It is also states that 'lower skilled jobs work the longest paid hours while managers work the most unpaid overtime', which is as it should be and is normal.

"Equally the British labour market is weighted towards a hard work long hours’ culture, but has a significant part time work force.

"Both sectors are under threat from EU directives, the Working Time and the Temporary Workers Directive which will make it harder to employ, thus hit competitiveness and employment."

"Brendan Barber with his £117,000 a year pay and benefits package attempts to discourage people from working with the outrageous attack on what he calls "pointless ‘presenteeism'".

"Millions are working as hard as they can and they would call that 'turning up to work'."
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