Essay 108 – People should work a fixed number of hours per week

GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 108

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

People should work a fixed number of hours per week, and employers should not ask anybody to work more than this.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer: [Partial agreement]

A fixed working hour is at the forefront of national debates and is driving social and political discourse. There is a widely held view that weekly working hours should be predefined and employees ought not to be forced into working more than that. In my opinion, I partially agree with this viewpoint as I am in favour of a fixed working hour, but some exceptions for the benefits of the employees should be there.

To begin with, government regulation of working hours, sometimes, is an intrusion upon employees’ private freedom as policymakers are mostly company owners rather than labours. An employee has the right to deploy his labour as he seems fit, independent of state regulation. Secondly, for self-employed workers, there is no legitimate reason for the state to regulate how long they can work. Last but not least, if competing economies do not implement similar rules, then any restriction on economic production can simply inspire the relocation of that production to the economies that are not encumbered with the same laws.

On the contrary, the limit on working hours provides protection for many employees as they are often forced to work longer hours than they want to, as their job security and livelihood depend entirely on their willingness to satisfy managerial demands. Government, therefore, has a moral duty in acting on employees’ behalf to protect their rights not to be pressured at the workplace. Secondly, the unemployment problem can be curbed by introducing a limit on working hours as there will be a demand to recruit new employees to do the task which was formerly performed by employees in their additional hours. Lastly, a limit on maximum working hours improves the quality of work done, which in turn attracts foreign investments.

In conclusion, employees should be legally guaranteed for a predetermined working hour per week so that they are not forced to work more than than. Independent workers and others who want to work more hours willingly, however, should be excluded from this policy.

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