Friday, April 29, 2016
Hours are the fury
My employment contract includes a requirement to work a minimum of 48 hours a week over six days. In keeping with plenty of senior posts, overtime isn’t payable, and we all put in additional hours as required to get the job done. The contract also allows 30 calendar days of paid annual leave, which amounts to roughly 22 working days off, and public holidays can bump this back up to 30.
Actually, deducting short Ramadan working days and public holidays results in around 2100 billable hours per year.
Fundamentally, a 365 day year amounts to 335 working days, which is around 4.3 – call it five - weeks off every year.
I work in a smoke-free environment. As smoking isn’t illegal, any smokers have to leave the building and stand outside for their nicotine fix. And that too is fine, because I don’t wish to work in a smoky office and it would be gross hypocrisy if I, an occasional pipe, cigar, and shisha smoker, demanded that tobacco be banned. So this is not an anti-smoking rant.
How much time do smoke breaks take? It certainly adds up:
Total 10 minutes seems not unreasonable, from desk to lift to outside and back again.
Assume four breaks a day. Two in the morning, two in the afternoon. Pre-work, post-work, and lunchtime don’t count.
Over a five day working week, that’s 3h20’.
Over a year that’s 47 x 3h20’ = 156 hours or over 18 working days; three working weeks.
And throughout this time, the non-smokers continue to sit at their desks and presumably work.
So here’s my suggestion for equity in the workforce. Non-smokers, or at least those employees who never take smoke breaks, get an additional three weeks of paid annual leave booked to the project.