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The UK accused of failing its children

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Employers don't bloody help much do they. How many part-time jobs do you ever see, apart from working in a supermaket or something? 20 hour a week IT consultant positions? None.

 

I once wanted my hours (and of course pay) reduced to 32 from 40. Boss bloody hated the idea. Why?

Where did 40 hour weeks even come from?

 

Thats a huge problem is you ask me. Kids got to school, what, 7 hours a day? The school is generally nearby too, unlike workplaces which even in Munich can mean 3 hours a day commuting.

The life/work balance is completely cock. 5 days working 2 days off? Why? OK, some people either want or need to work more hours for more money, but where is the option for those who would happily accept less wages in exchange for less hours? Go to an employment agency, and say you are looking for a job working about 25 hours a week. You'll get offered absolutely sweet FA.

 

When I as a kid, eating together as a family was weekends only. Weeknights, I ate with my brother and sister, and my mum and dad ate together when he got home from work. My dad worked in London, but we moved to South Bucks because the schooling was 40000% better. He really regrets not being able to spend loads of time with us kids, all the moreso now that he has grandkids, and really enjoys time with them. It was a choice he made, trying to provide a better financial situation for the family, instead of trying to form this lovely Italian concept of family meals all together at the table. Was there really that much choice though? I'm not so sure.

 

There are more companies allowing people to work from home these days I s'pose, certainly in the UK anyway, introducing "hot desking" or whatever, but I often feel thats more to do with companies renting smaller premises to save cash than improve employee lifestyles.

 

Against my normal right wing capitalist tendancies, I sincerely believe that the government has to intervene somehow. Sadly, how they could, I just don't know.

 

In every bloomin' employment contract you sign, there is always that little bit that states your working hours to be x, but you may be called upon to work more, for no extra pay. Fair enough; lets say that you are in IT, and something goes tits up, so you have to stay late to sort it out. If I can accept that, can an employer accept then that I can piss off home if I happen to finish everything quicker than expected? Not bloody likely. OK, I'm ranting a bit now about something I feel personally rather bitter about, but my feeling on it is due to the fact that I actually wanna be at home more, and when I have kids, all the more so.

 

Children turning out to undisciplined little arsewipes hanging out on street corners is down to the parents, I really believe that - but where does the time to actually bring up kids with decent morals and shit come from?

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As far as I am concerned it all started to go wrong in the 60s and has continued ever since.

 

We need strong families with one parent staying at home to look after the children. It should not be the states responsibility to bring up children only to create a framework that supports the family.

 

There will be no change until this happens.

 

If couples are not prepared to do this, dont have children.

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It should not be the states responsibility to bring up children only to create a framework that supports the family.

Spot on.

 

 

We need strong families with one parent staying at home to look after the children.

Dunno about that though. I reckon kids need both parents, and the responsibility should be shared. Ideally both parents working full-time would be nice, for us at least.

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The government providing a framework is only part of the story, employers have to realise that basing their success on burning out employess at a high rate in order to extract the maximum amount of work from them rather than being more flexible and allowing people to have more of a normal life at home is not the way to go.

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I don't think employers will go that way though, hence the need for government intervention. Companies will just seek to employ only singles, who have been castrated, and singed a waiver saying that they have no life.

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Well I don't think legislation (nor do I agree with it) is going to change company policy like that, it will only encourage other ways of circumnavigation.

Companies benefit from a mix of singles, couples, older and younger employees, unfortunately the bottom line is more important than keeping an eye on staff turnover and it 's harder to measure benefits.

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I reckon kids need both parents, and the responsibility should be shared.

You reckon right, in the best circumstances.

Now maybe it is because my employer is one that realises that people have other things to do apart from work (sadly if I'm honest, I don't actually work that much either but I'm flukey enough to be in a specialist job which allows sporadic high productivity to balance out lazyititis). We have a lot of part-timers who still get promoted. Sabatical leave is permitted, not just parental leave. After-school supervision helps parents to balance their days a bit better. Child-care is provided or assistance with it is.

Does this mean that the kids are happier? Well I'm not sure, most of my pals have very young babies who can't tell me, but the choice is there, the parents certainly appear happier and I see folk with their kids having lunch in the canteen. And no, I don't work for a DAX-listed company surprisingly enough (but I'd still rather not name my employer thanks).

More realistic working hours for all could be seen as a bit of a socialist relic.

"What about choice?" would be the response of those having to stick to a national 35 hour week as happened in France. Although it would be rather a middle-class choice, it isn't generally the supermarket workers or forklift drivers rushing to the tennis classes.

Plus creating shorter hours only for parents creates another battlefront - the resentful childfree.

Can a government actually legislate to give families a structure that works?

When only the very highest and non-earners can afford for one parent to stay at home if they choose?

When profit-driven business requires less people to do more work?

When legislation causes more problems than it solves?

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Katrina, that article is summed up in one line:

 

I do the same day's work for the same money.

 

There's the cause for resentment. I'm not advocating letting parents get away with putting in less hours, for the same pay. I want the choice to do less hours, and take the sting of less money, if I so wish.

Employers though, would (probably rightly) see that as just laziness. Thing is, I can work like lightning between 7AM and 1PM, then I'm bored. When I've had jobs where I could work at home, I NEVER had anything other than adoration from the bosses, because I can get shit done. They knew full well, and overlooked the fact that I almost never did any work past 2PM, and certainly did next to nothing on fridays. My boss even phoned the pub once, because it was friday, and that's where I was.

Happy people work better, and work faster. Last place I worked here, everyone was simply fucking miserable. People did nothing other than make sure their timesheets were filled in nicely. Some people literally did nothing other than sit in the office reading a book all day, but the hours were there. Bullshit.

OK, I went from one extrem to another, but its clear to me that freedom, flexibility and choice makes for much happier employees. There are plenty of flexible benefit systems (in the UK, dunno about here) that allow you to do things such as chip in some of your own cash to get a nicer company car. Flexibenefits are well liked by employees, and don't harm the employers profit atall, so why not. Why not then extend that to "purchase" more hours off?

 

Its all so bleedin' obvious, happy worker= better worker, I just don't understand why its not commonplace. OK, "soft" stuff is harder to measure than blatantly obvious profit and loss statements, but still.

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While you can apply that framework to many roles, it doesn't fit all. It works for some project-based freelance IT work, but imagine if an air traffic controller just decided he was bored and going off down the pub halfway through the shift?

Certainly looking at the tax controls on flexibenefits could be one option? Am not actually sure if childcare counts as a flexibenefit though.

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Yeah.. come on DR.. Imagine having a cushy number at the EPO for example..

 

Nice simple job in "IT", (a job with a non-discript title) and then having done a hard days nothing, being given the role of being the official "Light switcher OFFer"..

 

You have to take the rough with the smooth..

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don_riina couldn't work for the EPO - Munich with fixed hours and a 8am start? hahhahahaha yeah right

Plus one trip to The Hague and it would all be over, wouldn't it sunshine?

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Thread revival

 

2011 BBC documentary: "Poor kids"

 

 

Documentary telling the stories of some of the 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. It is one of the worst child poverty rates in the industrialised world, and successive governments continue to struggle to bring it into line. So who are these children, and where are they living? Under-represented, under-nourished and often under the radar, 3.5 million children should be given a voice. And this powerful film does just that.

 

Eight-year-old Courtney, 10-year-old Paige and 11-year-old Sam live in different parts of the UK. Breathtakingly honest and eloquent, they give testament to how having no money affects their lives: lack of food, being bullied and having nowhere to play. The children might be indignant about their situation now, but this may not be enough to help them. Their thoughts on their futures are sobering.

 

Sam's 16-year-old sister Kayleigh puts it all into context, as she tells how the effects of poverty led her to take extreme measures to try and escape it all.

 

Poor Kids puts the children on centre stage, and they command it with honesty and directness. It's time for everyone to listen.

 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

 

Telegraph article on the documentary, with comments from Torygraph readers, e.g.

"if children are going hungry in this country, it isn't because of poverty"

"Many poor people do not spend their limited amount of money wisely; giving them more money does not solve the problem."

"How irresponsible to have three children without the means or stable home to support them."

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