Scott Squires tweeted this article advocating the 40-hour work week. To my surprise, it mentions that some of the most competitive countries in the world (which I pointed out a few months ago as also having the highest percentages of union membership) limit the number of hours a worker can work in a week:
In six of the top 10 most competitive countries in the world (Sweden, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom), it’s illegal to demand more than a 48-hour work week. You simply don’t see the 50-, 60-, and 70-hour work weeks that have become de rigeur in some parts of the U.S. business world.
Now I’m not familiar with labor laws in Europe but the reason I found this surprising is that one of the common issues many professionals have in the UK VFX industry is that they work long hours and are paid a day rate. So if you found yourself working a 12-14 hour day, you are paid the same amount as if you were working an 8-9 hour day.
So if there is a work week limit in the UK and professionals are being paid a day rate, why not exercise these work week limits? I asked around on twitter and it turns out that many are expected to sign contracts agreeing to opt-out of this law. Has anyone refused to opt-out?
Googling around I found the the law does permit to opting out of this requirement. I would LOVE to advocate a 50 hour work-week limit but many like working OT.