Is it the end of the 40-hour workweek?
Is the 40-hour workweek still relevant in today's society?
In a report issued last month, the International Labour Organization (ILO) noted that reducing work hours can have a positive affect on employment levels during a severe economic downturn.
It also discusses the use of work-sharing to generate jobs and for the preservation of existing jobs.
I can relate to the latter.
However, thanks to some creativity in the management department, they reduced my hours to part-time along with the next person with the least seniority.
It did save my job...for a while anyway, but it didn't go over too well with the other employee who also faced the reduced hours to save my job and the company money.
In the end, we were both faced with the grim reality of eventually being laid off due to more company downsizing.
Shortening work hours can be used to create more jobs for others, according to the ILO report. Fewer hours for one translates into more work time for others.
As employers cut back, many employees are forced to shorten their workweek. Some greet it with a sigh of relief while others, who depend on the full-time earnings, are left high and dry.
According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), the amount of time we spend at work affects our time available for other activities including caring for family members, learning, leisure, volunteering and even rest.
However, it notes that employment also affects earnings and contributes to the overall economic productivity.
HRDSC statistics show that employed Canadians were working fewer hours per week on average in 2011 compared to three decades ago. Men worked on average almost six hours more per week than their female counterparts.
Reducing the hours in a workweek does not necessarily have to be in response to downsizing or the company's bottom line.
If a company introduces a policy to provide employees with a shorter workweek it can therefore spread the hours amongst more workers. This in turn provides more people with an opportunity to earn an income and to have more time for those other neglected activities.
By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money
What do you think about a shorter workweek? Do you think it benefits both employees and employers?
Posted by: adam | Jul 12, 2021 6:43:00 AM
This will allow employers give more hours to those they like; and very little to those they want to quit. Terrible idea because it will be an excuse to not pay benefits.
I'm not against part-time jobs--but I don't think all jobs should be part-time. If everything's part-time, less pay. Plus not every corporation or business will adopt this model, so people will end up going elsewhere.
I worked at one place where they only hired part-time. It was so instable. Sometimes you worked 15 hours, sometimes 20. It was based on business. Hard to plan when you can't predict next week hours. Also, when you work less hours your shifts unusually are the worst--working 4 hours a day in the middle of the day, etc.
Posted by: Northstar | Jul 12, 2021 10:13:54 AM
As employers cut back they shorten the work week? What planet does this writer come from!
The writer did get the title of the article right, the 40 hour work week is ending, those with us that hold these jobs are working way longer.
A 40 hour work week? I wish! I'm at 60 now, supposed to work 37.5. With this poor economy a lot of us are forced to take on more tasks due to downsizing through laying off the workforce or not back filling vacant positions as people leave/retire.
Add to that, companies are hiring more contract workers to fill once full time jobs because they don't want the headcount! Contractors aren't as effective and are here today, gone tomorrow.
In the end I am grateful I have a job, some folks I know don't and are struggling. I just want the economy to stabilize and get back to normal so I can get back my life.
Posted by: Ernie | Jul 12, 2021 10:28:41 AM
Cut back of 40hrs week means more money for the company it's as simple as that. And as usual it's the one with the least yrs in that will be affected. Also, work share is not as easy as it sounds because everyone works differently and when one picks up after the other shift, there's confusion and not always the work caught up.
Posted by: Suzanne | Jul 12, 2021 10:31:06 AM
Extremely bad idea, unless they want to double wages in order to produce the same wage a 40 hr week would generate and keep full benefit packages, then not interested. Reducing hrs will only have people maintaining 2 or more separate jobs to make ends meet....
Posted by: Dee | Jul 12, 2021 10:34:58 AM
Too much part-time . It hurts the employee if they have had their hours cut. It is problematic in a number of ways. Less income putting stress on living expense, travelling expenses, ie, if an employee gets 4 or 5 hour shift X4 days transportation costs eat into what income you are earning. A 7.50 hour pay per day X3 days is more economical. when these hour (shorter) adjustment are done and is for an extended period of time. Although greatful to work, if employee laid off at the onset of hours reduction, then a person CAN FILE FOR UNEMPLYMENT. I believe that this
current part-time agenda is a partnership between the gov't and employers. It gives our economical
standards a very skewed and erroneous report on employment numbers and those receiving benefits.
Unemployment down, more people working.....stress which will cause family problems, health problems, consumer purchases down, I ASK...who is WINNING ????? Broken families=more drain on the social system, effects to health = drain on the medical, I am sure readers can see all the trends.
It is very frustrating.
Posted by: carl | Jul 12, 2021 10:53:19 AM
Its high time we have a real hard look at our economic system and its ultimate goal. Our governments at the behest of lobbyist( minions of the corporate hierarchy) have slowly eroded the fabric, the intent of our economic system. After all, the corporate entity was created legally to allow the amassing of capital pools that would allow endeavours to large for the individual. The legal formulation was to " be of benefit to society". Where did this concept get twisted? Now these corporate entities are dictating social policy which has led us to where we are today. They are still employing the tactics of squeezing every last penny to shove into the bottom line by outsourcing, moving plants to low labour cost areas etc.etc. We as citizens are watching our own Prime Minister continuing this trend of signing free trade deals with jurisdictions where the standards across the spectrum are not comparable and yet they call it free trade. In reality its nothing else but legalized exploitation of other jurisdictions for the benefit of the corporate elite. Sure we get lower prices for commodities but we also get sub par products and if anybody doesn't realize that they must be asleep. Just for an example take snowblowers, I listened to an interview with a bureacrat from the federal safety department where during the interview she repeated that Canadians should look for the CSA label to ensure that all the safety devices were included??!! My question to you and anyone is, "why are we allowing non CSA approved products into our marketplace to injure Canadians"( which costs our health care systems). Free trade with equal standards therefore is not free trade but exploitation and nothing else. And the idiocy of it all is that its also costing us jobs. Therefore do we have anyone in government that has a brain in there heads when they are signing these deals?????
Posted by: Annie | Jul 12, 2021 10:58:20 AM
I have to agree with Northstar on this one. I am now retired (Thank God) but I never worked at a job for 37.5 or 40 hrs a week. I have always ended up working 50+ hrs. a week. When I was younger I wanted the extra work, wanted to learn all aspects of the particular business I was in, but the sad thing is employers come to expect this. When I had my family I wanted to cut back on my hours(and in some cases it had to be a necessary thing) this cutting back of hours was frowned upon. I was even asked by one employer "Don't you like working here anymore"? My answer to this boss was "Yes, I do enjoy my job but I enjoy my family as well." I also found that the more I did the less the manager/dept. head did- so my solution was to cut back my hours gradually still maintain my high level of work performance. I gave them no reason to criticize my work performance, and stayed until retirement. There are very few compamies who will aknowledge extra work done by employees, they will only complain when an employee cuts their hours, but an employer can cut an employee's hours instantly as the mood or financial atmosphere shifts. Fair I don't think so.
Posted by: We need help now | Jul 12, 2021 11:14:48 AM
All very good points everyone.Bottom line is employers don't give a s__t about the employees.Just money and their fame.
Posted by: Weston Brooks | Jul 12, 2021 11:17:23 AM
I disagree with a shorter work week. I'm busting my ass for minimum wage so those extra hours are important to people like me. As for leisure time, isn't that what the weekend is for? As for taking care of a family member, don't employers have sick or personal days for their employees? That's my two cents and you can take that to the bank!
Posted by: We need help now | Jul 12, 2021 11:32:20 AM
Hmmm.Shorter work week no one likes because not enough money.Regular or longer hours no one likes as it bites into family time.Don't really make much more with more hours anyway as it just goes into the feds trough.So what's the solution? Either stay a pee-on or join them.Just have to have no conscious and a lobotomy first......too much? I may have to be first in line as they are sucking the life out of me anyway.......
Posted by: Bob | Jul 12, 2021 11:48:36 AM
I would like shorter work weeks with more pay,Christmas break with pay,Spring break with pay,Summer off (with pay),all weekends and statutory holidays,paid for trips,expense accounts.Oh wait........I have to be a politician to get all that and a golden pension until I die.Where do I sign up? I can hardly wait.
Posted by: John | Jul 12, 2021 11:58:59 AM
Wow Bob! You really nailed it.How can I top that !!
Posted by: Mary | Jul 12, 2021 12:07:23 PM
For sure Bob!!! You have explained it the BEST.Great insight.Keep up the good work!Are you single?.........
Posted by: Hempboy | Jul 12, 2021 12:20:40 PM
Bob,you rock dude.Couldn't have said it better myself.Kudos dude.Totally righteous.Peace out.
Posted by: Fit 4 duty | Jul 12, 2021 12:41:33 PM
I hope they go to shorter work weeks.I can get by with less pay/benefits.I want to work a lot harder in those cut back hours too.Like give me 5 people's work to do.I like to be so busy my brains are scrambled.And I don't want enough money to have a social life as my job is the only thing that matters in the world.I don't mind living in a tent down by the river anyway.Get my water for free.And now I have more time with the reduced hours to pick bottles/cans for food money,so life is great.Who needs heat,money and health!Only the wimps out there!.And I can still get my clothes for free as long as I get to the Sally Ann store before it opens.People leave all kinds of great clothes on the step.I like to travel so if I can collect enough cans/bottles I can move to a third world country and increase my standard of living.I don't have a computer.Got the kid down the way to type this for me.He has a laptop.His dad does pretty well.He's an MP.Oh,gotta go.Someone just threw a can out their car window.
Posted by: Mike Duffy | Jul 12, 2021 12:59:07 PM
All I can say is :Fit 4 duty - You are exactly the type of Canadian we need.Now all you whiners shut up and go to work and pay your taxes.Why should you all get a free ride? If any of you ever work as hard as I do maybe you will get somewhere like me.Now quit wasting time on this comment blog and earn your keep.Little moaners.You deserve your minimum wage job.Pee-ons.Oh,and vote Conservative next election.I'll be expecting your support. Yours Truly,the Hon.Mike Duffy
Posted by: Lets move on | Jul 12, 2021 1:36:16 PM
O.k. That issue has been beaten to death. Can we get back to complaining about the government now.It's still a fresh issue.They must have done something we don't like in the last 24 hours.Good grief !
Posted by: Michael Jackson | Jul 12, 2021 2:08:39 PM
Can't we all just "get along" ??
Posted by: TC | Jul 14, 2021 5:36:02 AM
Yah Donna, it really is almost that simple - either be a full-time worker with benefits whose company is surely going to dump the hours/work on you(50-60-80/wk in my case), or be in the legion of part-time help who have no benefits and need 2-3 jobs to make ends meet. The full-timers are being worked into their graves (or hospitals) and its either the job becomes your life or you are at risk of being ignored for advancement, replaced by 1-3 part-timers, or get no raise for years. And all this makes you the "lucky" one cuz you have a full job with declining bennies? Let me add here that replacing ft help with pt help also adds more work/responsibility to the remaining ft peeps, as well as the constant frustration of dealing with inexperienced co-workers. A lot of our ft staff were replaced by agency workers (mostly foreigners who dont even speak the language) and the biggest complaint was retraining crews of staff EVERY DAY!! And this went on for YEARS!! Some of our people remarked about feeling more like a teacher/babysitter than a tradesman. And some of the guys who were on salary really got taken advantage of - not paid for O/T but still expected to see "that the work is fulfilled" so you end up working 60 hours for the same 37.5 hrs pay (with no raises in over 5 yrs let alone O/T compensation), and with untrained/unskilled staff. I know - I was one of those peeps.
I retired a few years ago thank god and NEVER want to go back to ft work. Stuck there because of 25 yrs with the company/pension, i endured till I could feel my health significantly suffering and got out at first chance. I work pt now in low-paying work with little-no stress because Im financially allright, and the best part of it is than I know that all it takes is one sentence out of my bosses that I dont like and I just walk out the door - dont pass go, dont collect $200, just laugh and move on to the next no-brainer job. My lesson? That to get ahead you have to learn to love your job enough to live it and put up with a ton and a half of BS to get the big bucks, or conversely, work at min-wage jobs and take no BS from anybody, including bosses or customers, and enjoy life. I have a lot less now, but am so much happier. Wise saying - "Never seen a headstone yet that read I wished I spent more time at work".
Posted by: TC | Jul 14, 2021 5:59:14 AM
Oh and Donna, this also makes me think back to my youth in TO over 40 years ago when taking computer programming in school and all the same sort of talk of how people were going to benefit from computers entering the workplace by having a 25-28 hr work week etc etc and just how much more leisure time was going to be in all our lives. HAHAHAHAHA Well, it all happened all right - and lots of companies have benefitted from computers and lots of people are working 25 hours but it certainly hasnt benefitted the worker, only the companies. And the pt workers of today have it doubly bad in that a lot of their employers expect them to work whenever called (for min wage natch) and to be on-call 24-7 (no $$$ for that either). I firmly believe that no matter what evolves in any timeframe, the worker is going to get it in the end, not the company. That is how our society works - period. Slavery may be over, enslavement isnt.
Posted by: ken | Jul 14, 2021 8:31:48 AM
Figures government always trying to find ways to give there buddies bigger profits and us the people that keep the ball rolling less. Companies will cut your benefits, hire from out of country. Not supply proper health care unless its for there family and friends. what next allow credit card companies allow to charge 30% interest rates so they can trap the working people to have 3 part time jobs with out giving benefits.
Posted by: Ian | Jul 14, 2021 10:06:41 AM
People complaining about having hrs cut so more of their co-workers can keep their jobs until things pick-up in their company? How crazy are you?? Just to let you know because I have done payroll. A person working 40 hrs or more in a week takes home less money than a person who works 32-35 hrs a week. About part-time workers who work 2 jobs because of having to make ends meet, I feel for you. I have done 3 jobs at a time to make ends meet. I worked my way through that and work only one job that makes me a decent wage. It is a skilled trade and I have the job security with it. Those jobs are out there. I work 60+ hours a week as my job requires me to do so. I can work less I choose not too at this time. When I get older and can't work as much I will cut back. There are skilled trades out there that are in high demand. Unskilled jobs out there are and always be low-paying and un-appreciated by management. I have done those jobs over the years. You don't like the job, retrain yourself to get the job that will pay you more. You have the time to do it with a part-time job.
Posted by: tom | Jul 14, 2021 11:03:53 AM
I'm all for a shorter work week, the hours that many of us work begs the question of are we here to work or do we work to live? long work hours hav a huge impact on ones personal life, family life, love life etc, I'm looking to really cut back my hours in the next couple of years to only pt work and I'm only in my 30's, good thing I work in an industry of high demand and great pay which will allow me this luxury.
Posted by: Rozina | Jul 14, 2021 12:16:10 PM
Creating More jobs by targeting workers is a bad idea, I would go as far as to call it evil.
Better way would be to target --- inefficiency, greed, and those show-men at the top who make insane amounts of money for showing up in suits.
Posted by: Nicki | Jul 14, 2021 12:28:10 PM
I was just wondering how many full time jobs it would take to equal a CEO bonus?
Posted by: work man | Jul 14, 2021 2:43:43 PM
Less hours for some meant others had to put in extra work to pick up the slack. Full-timers operating their full potential have to put in even more. The result is a decrease in their health.
Posted by: Reverse Rasism ageinst whom ? | Jul 14, 2021 3:13:13 PM
In a severe economic downturn what Government of Canada should do ? Cut or Increase Emigration ?
Posted by: LO | Jul 14, 2021 4:00:02 PM
This idea only benefits employers,the rich getting richer,part timers are not eligible for benefits.
If fultimers struggle to get by in the daily life,imagine with the salary of part time,well what is new?
the big fish always devouring the small one.
Posted by: angel369 | Jul 14, 2021 4:50:26 PM
Decades back in Ontario there was a work share program where your hours were cut back to 4 days and unemployment paid the fifth day with the current ei rate. Well I was the only one servicing the one division of the company and sales had not declined. I ended up being put on this program so the owner could save 20% of my pay. I still had the same work to do but with less net pay.
Posted by: Tinkerbell | Jul 14, 2021 4:52:27 PM
I work with my municipal government on a full time basis. However, full time gov't hours are only 33.75 hrs/ week, not 40.0. This means I only get paid for 33.75 hrs. This also means that I have to try and cram 40+hrs worth of work into a 33.75 hr week as we do not get paid overtime. People think my job is cushy because i have a slightly shorter day but they don't realize it also means I get paid less but am still responsible for the same amount of work so my shortened day is jam packed with barely time for lunch and I am almost always falling behind