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January 22, 2009


Ralph Musgrave

A significant proportion of employers and employees are actually conspiring to "work share" or shorten hours right now. I agree that legally binding restrictions on hours (which were in effect in France till recently) are no solution to unemployment in the long term. But voluntarily shortening hours in a recession is no bad idea: it can take years or decades for an employer to build a workforce with the right sets of skills. Keeping a workforce together pending the end of the recession has some value.

jamie k

I was thinking of it from the other angle: that employers should forgo profits rather than shorten hours or make layoffs; especially since we don't want another L shaped recession. Though it's good to see solidarity among the workforce expressed in this way, it would also be better if it were expressed in ways that preserved jobs as a whole.


My company is going to a four day week. It isn't to keep profits going, it's to save cash. So that we can keep going for longer before we can't make payroll now that orders have collapsed. Hopefully the extra time this buys will allow the company to survive until the upturn (if there is one)

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