Who will benefit from flexiweek legislation?
THE EDITOR, Sir: I keep wondering who will benefit from the flexiweek legislation. Listening to the government advertisements has made me even more concerned. The impression which is being given is that, once the legislation takes effect, employees will be able to arrange their working hours to suit their convenience. But is this really true? Isn't it the employer who will decide what type of working arrangements are best suited for his/her business?
In the current environment where jobs are scarce, who will have bargaining power - the employer or the employee? I keep wondering, too, whether employees who now earn overtime benefits after working for eight or 12 hours are conscious of the fact that, with the implementation of the law, subject to contractual arrangements, such benefits will not come until after working 40 hours - if at all. What employers may do instead of paying overtime is to simply employ other persons at ordinary rates. But why am I so concerned, for surely the unions would have informed their members of these consequences!
Persons for whom worship on a particular day is of significance, may be somewhat naive to think that employers will be sympathetic to these doctrinal matters. The same issue of bargaining power will arise. Additionally, employers may be reluctant to employ persons who are likely to make the right to worship a workplace issue.
Taking the above into consideration, I cannot help but wonder whether this legislation will not have the effect of placing the working class of this country back in the hands of backra master.