Take a look at the United States for ‘work week’ laws that work

When you can’t agree on how to fix something, you should take a look at what your neighbors have done. In the UK, for example, an argument about how to deal Unsafe work Pulling year after year No resolution. One side has said that jobs like zero-hour contracts are exploitative and should be Forbidden Directly. The other said you need to be able to do 21st century business Their workforces are flexible Responding to changing needs.

One way to unravel the controversy is to study the empirical evidence that has emerged in the United States, where several places have passed new laws aimed at improving workers’ resilience without depriving them of flexibility. San Francisco, Seattle, Emeryville, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago and Oregon all passed in California. “Fair Workweek Act” Efforts to address unpredictable schedules for workers in sectors such as retail and fast food restaurants since 2015.

It is common for employers in these fields to use it “Schedule in time only” Exercises, which try to reduce costs by flexibility to reduce demand by lowering the level of staff. In practice, this often means that when workers need to work, they can be sent home early or their unpaid shifts can be canceled. Proof This creates stress and financial problems for workers, especially parents who need to take care of children. This is also a problem in the UK, where a Recent surveys Fifty-five percent of employees on the proposed full-time short pay were given less than a week’s notice of their schedule and 15 percent less than 24 percent. A Individual survey Forty large UK employers using zero-hour or short-term contracts (by a combined workforce of around 440,000 people) have found that 35 shifts are sometimes canceled and only four workers are paid a wage.

U.S. Fair Work Week laws vary slightly according to jurisdiction, but employers are usually required to give their employees a pre-determined time (usually with two weeks’ notice). Even then employers have the flexibility to increase, change or cancel, but if they do, they must pay premium or compensation to the worker. Many cities have focused on low-wage retailers and restaurants, but Chicago Law (Which took effect last year) Workers paid less than 50,000 50,000 a year for building services, healthcare, hotels, manufacturing and warehouses.

These laws have not become volatile. Implementation and compliance have been twisted, and there is some evidence from Emeryville that employers Response By giving workers more stable time but few of them. Yet, they seem to have improved people’s lives. “People report better health, they sleep better, they are less anxious,” said Elizabeth Anant of Columbia University. Study parents In Emeryville affected by the new law. “It suggests that trade closes here, but trade closures are positive overall.”

A Study About the impact of Seattle, published a few months ago, also found that affected workers now had a more predictable schedule, reported better quality sleep and faced less “material distress”.

Little research has been done on the impact on employers, but Susan Lambert of the University of Chicago, who interviewed Seattle managers, believes they could benefit in the end. When he conducted a Check with Gap In 2016, apparel retailers grew an average of seven percent in retailer stores, where employees were given better durability. Workers with more regular schedules were better rested, more likely to be on time, and managers seemed to put in more effort. “When you schedule Willie-Neely all the time, people just come in and do the bare minimum work to get paid and then leave. Enough to not get fired,” said one director Cited In research.

Why would businesses do something that would hurt the top line? Lambert believes this is a measurement failure. It is easy to quantify the benefits of trimming labor hours through a just-on-schedule. It is difficult to measure the cost of tired, deprived, late, stressed workers. In fact, top officials will not see the consequences first. The Gap survey found that store managers would schedule extra staff when they knew executives were coming to inspect to make sure it was looking its best.

It is still the first day to fully assess the impact of fair workweek laws in America. However, they serve as a useful reminder that policy interventions do not have to be heavy-handed to make a positive difference in the lives of employees – and they can also help employers in the long run.


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