Recruiters split over calling time on daylight hours

Recruiters are divided over whether government should align with EU countries in extending daylight hours in summer.

Last spring, the European Parliament backed a proposal to stop the obligatory one-hour clock change, which extends daylight hours in summer EU-wide from 2021.

This week, the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee released its report, ‘Clock changes: is it time for change?’.

The report, which includes the implications of non-alignment with the EU, especially for Northern Ireland, also looks at how the government should approach any decision about whether or how to align with the proposal, given the lack of clear and compelling evidence about the effect of clock changes on a range of issues from health and wellbeing to trade.

Peter Searle, executive chairman at global workforce solutions provider Airswift, told Recruiter as an international agency which attempts to connect multiple teams in multiple geographies, the seasonal clock changes often cause confusion and can vary time zones by up to two additional hours.

“This impacts staff working hours and often creates confusion,” he said.

“If clocks did not move by the extra hour in Europe, then this would help in alleviating some of the issues both our staff and workers face in travel and communications when connecting over time zones. It would help even more if the UK and mainland Europe were in the same time zone.”

But Ricky Martin, managing director at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, told Recruiter government currently has a whole host of other more important issues on its plate.

“To be frank the government should do whatever it takes to keep consistency with markets we want to trade with (ie. the EU), and to make the life of the customer/supplier/client as simply as possible. But if this is costing us a ton of tax payers money, then focus on things better which are causing an issue – like IR35, for example. When we still need to get that sorted, and the mess the UK already is in in second guessing HMRC, to be even talking about seasonal clock changes seems mad.”

Meanwhile Don Bryden, MD at KCJ Training & Employment Solutions, told Recruiter he would prefer a winter time scenario allowing brighter mornings and darker evenings.

“The issue does, however, have an impact with a no-deal Brexit on Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland could end up being an hour different to London, or even Dublin, by ending seasonal clock changes.

“The UK, however, successfully trades with countries all over the world, all on different times and, because we are accustomed to this, I don’t see it having an impact at all.”

As for the effect on business, Mary Cox, MD at Gotpeople, told Recruiter: “It may affect agricultural growers, deciding how to move their shift times to make the best of daylight hours.

“Overall the effect with everyone else is minimal.”

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