Thursday, 1 September 2011

This is freedom?

Dick Puddlecote posted recently on a move, in Sweden (do read the link provided):
"Landskrona municipality in southern Sweden is mulling introducing a ban on staff smoking during working hours, even if they are working from home. The ban under consideration by Landskrona will mean that staff are not allowed to go outside onto the street during, for example, the group coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon which are common practice in many Swedish workplaces."
This raises all sorts of questions, such as is not your home your home; should an employer have the right to dictate your behaviour during you time away from the workplace; and can an employer likewise dictate how you spend your time during recognised 'work-breaks' (lunch?).

One comment is worthy of repetition:
"A little bit off-topic, I admit, but sort of linked – something which has been swirling about in the back of my mind for some while which some of the more legal-y types on here might like to comment on.

If a person is obliged to adhere to workplace rules and regulations outside of their working hours or during their “free” time (such as during breaks or lunchtimes), then doesn’t that mean, essentially, that they are still “working” during those times – albeit at a much less busy level than normally? And thus, aren’t employers who enforce such rules in danger of exceeding the legislation on working hours? The legislation, after all, specifically states that employers must allow their employees to take their statutory breaks away from their normal workstations – thus giving the nod to the fact that a break should mean just that – a break, not just interrupting the flow of work by swigging down a quick coffee or a hastily-purchased sandwich from M&S at your desk.

So surely, then, imposing any workplace rules in free time that should be demarcated by a contract of employment (which has to state specific starting and finishing hours) must surely be the same? Insisting that employees are “non-smokers” or – as will no doubt shortly be the case – “non drinkers” (i.e. that they don’t undertake those activities in their private time in the evenings and at weekends) must surely be tantamount to insisting that they stay “working” for 24 hours a day? Even if they wouldn’t normally want to undertake such activities voluntarily, it’s still a violation of their right to genuinely free time to deny them the choice to do so if they wish. I’m sure there’d be a case if employers started insisting that employees be “on call” at all times, or if they insisted that employees maintained the same standards of dress at home as they did at work (such as wearing makeup or a suit or wearing their hair tied back etc), so there’s no reason why other workplace rules shouldn’t be the same.

Just a thought for the future which might get round the fact that whereas it is illegal to advertise using discriminatory wording and to employ using discriminatory policies in any other area than race, age, sex, religion etc, it is still legal to discriminate in any other areas, including lifestyle ones ...

Thoughts from legal types welcomed!
That such an idea, which is both insidious and invidious, can even be entertained demonstrates just how much 'progressive' ideas, instigated by the 'behaviour-police' are beginning to infiltrate our day-to-day lives. 

The Sutton example that DP quotes may well be 5 years old, but the principle of 'people control' by others is still alive and well. Should not people who wish to 'picnic' whilst having a day on the beach not be allowed to so do? Over 55s have been banned from drinking in their communal grounds, yet is not the communcal grounds part of their home environment? Why should one set of anti-social behaviour be used to implement a ban based on an unfounded and unproven belief? ".....which they believe is fuelled by alcohol"

This is but one example of how the continual drip of control over the people is being used.

As an aside, it is also used by the European Union. Take a look at this and follow the link provided about 'conditions of entry'. Whilst it does not say so, you can bet that another condition will be the requirement that a logo is included in any company paper/literature that wins, one that advertises the award - thus promoting the 'benefits' of EU membership.

The sooner we are able to introduce some form of direct democracy into this country, the sooner we, the people, will regain the control of our country - and our lives.


john in cheshire said...

Skandinavia is a lost cause. All the hype over the past several decades, about how better is their socialist nirvana, is now being seen for what it is. It's just another socialist dystopia. I don't think they are capable of rediscovering the path towards normality, so, they'll eventually become a muslim cess-pit. And who's going to save them; not us because we're as trapped in the web as they are. What the socialists don't yet realise is that the muslims will exterminate them, once they feel they have sufficient power.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the Swedes to come up with yet another bit of nazism. They were the first with bullshit eco crap, first with their stupid drinking laws, first with victimisation of smokers.

They are nazis with a different coloured flag. I hated living there. I had ten years of a sanctimonious pious wife over there and was a relief to get away.

Oh, and they love playing Lord over the other Scandi nations who get pissed off with the Swedes for it.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

jic: That I believe is fairly certain.

mtl: I presume then you don't like Sweden, its people or their way of life? :)