Working Hours Decree, noose or support?

    The other day I was invited to take part in a discussion about the problems the Working Hours Decree poses with our national police force. Besides representatives from various corps I met a number of external experts involved with the Working Hours Decree in all kinds of fields.

    How easy is complying with Working Hours Decree in practice? Really, it can’t be that hard? The passionate involvement of the planners contradicts this. All the obvious issues you encounter were discussed. This is very understandable and recognisable. But just ask yourself, is this problem really caused by the one employee who can never work Saturdays? Do you really have too few deployable hours?

    What it often boils down to in practice is that the appointments made are not or are insufficiently complied with and that other appointments should be revised or made. In an operational environment such as, for example, the police fires have already been put out. Not just once, but structurally. People make do with the means available to them because it simply seems too complex to take the problem by the horns.

    To most of my questions the first response was: “yeah, well, you don’t work for the police.” That’s right, but planning is planning. So I ask questions about capacity planning, appointments with HR, tasks and responsibilities etc. Because have the police sufficiently looked to the future?

    I see that people are proud of the deployment of their team of employees. These men and women do not run away from a job and voluntarily conduct additional work as soon as a situation occurs that require this. But yet this is also the question: does this situation really occur?

    Company culture says a lot about how people deal with money, but it says even more about how people see each other as colleagues. Adhering to the Working Hours Decree will likely be experienced as a negative thing within a small, close team than the violation you commit the moment you don’t comply. Good leadership and compliance to the appointments made play a vital role in this. Encourage your colleagues to hand over work and to go home on time. Reducing violations of the Working Hours Decree starts with you. 

    By: Gusta de Jong