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48-hour opt out defeat is bad news for UK economy says APC Overnight

Wolverhampton, UK, 14 January 2009 – The defeat of the UK's case for opting out of the 48-hour working week will have serious repercussions for the British economy says APC Overnight. The UK's largest next day parcel delivery network believes that not only will this have a dramatic affect on the transport industry but other industries will also suffer.

“Restricting working hours will seriously impact the development of UK businesses and not just the transport industry. Any company providing a 'service' will suffer. In today's economic climate we have to be ever more flexible and meet growing customer expectations. We cannot afford to cut back on service provision and delivery no matter what business we are in,” says Ivor Skinner, Managing Director, APC Overnight.

Service excellence is the key issue for customers and businesses today. Customers expect to be charged a reasonable rate for services, but they are equally concerned about quality of the service they are buying.

“Good service is so important to customers these days as they are not just driven by price. Moreover, on a broader scale the restriction will impinge on fulfillment in general, driving people to look to outside of the UK for what they want, affecting British business and restricting growth yet again,” says Skinner.

“Visit Britain chairman Christopher Rodrigues has already highlighted that poor service levels in the UK will threaten thousands of jobs as well as the tourist industry in general. The lack of flexibility in working hours will undoubtedly compound this,” he adds.

Without the flexibility to work extended hours companies will likely cut back on what they can offer. In addition workers who welcome the opportunity to work extra hours to fit in with their own life styles and income requirements will suffer.

“No one wants to return to the days of people working extremely long hours, day after day, week after week. However, it is a fallacy to believe that this action will create more jobs under today's economic conditions. It is more likely that companies will cut back on the services they offer as it is uneconomic to engage more staff. In our industry we can see that this could be detrimental to evening, weekend and home deliveries. We are also restricting the ability for our employees to earn extra money – and many of them depend on working a few extra hours each week,” concludes Skinner.

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