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working time directive

 
#1 working time directive
10/03/2006 10:41

AD

I am confused at comments here that imply consultants work long hours. As I understand it the EU working time directive restricts hours to 48 per week in law.

Furthermore I have read that Accenture in particular has a vigorous programme to enforce the 48 hour week. This includes introducing a major cultural change programme; stopping employees from "opting out"; making it a disciplinary offence to under-report hours on a project; and creating a system of time off in lieu. This programme was reported in the national press and is detailed in a case study on the DTI website.

As a manager in industry I am exempt from this law and regularly work 60 hour weeks. Should I become a consultant for a better work/life balance?

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#2 this is a good one!
10/03/2006 11:10

joe

Mate, I dont want to sound irrational, but that's the most absurd notion i've ever heard: to move FROM industry TO consulting for better work hours???

I work for Accenture, and what you have just mentioned is almost 100% propaganda and image branding. The hours depend entirely on projects and grade. A manager can work anywhere between 8 (in low season) to 20 hours a day. and trust me no one comes and tells you are working too much! lol, they might offer you an extra day off when the project is done, or a sumptuous dinner at an exclusive restaurant.

you can always try to work 9-5 but then a) you wont be successful b) you will see the more 'out' side of up or out

I dont honestly know of a proper company in any industry where a manager will work less than 50 hours a week, (except maybe for honda but then again a 40 year old manager will earn 40k).

a manager in strategy consulting will probably work closer to 70-90 hours a week on average, and salary will be from 70-140k.

remember its the last grade before partner, and a lot is expected of you.

hope this helps

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#3 Re: this is a good one!
10/03/2006 12:37

ad

They do admit it to some of the longer term projects not buying into the working hours project totally. Even so the HR department seem to think it is a jolly good idea. Here is the link:

http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/work_time_regs/BT_AND_ACCENTURE.doc

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#4 Re: this is a good one!
10/03/2006 12:38

Accenturian

i just started at Accenture not long ago and i'd agree wit the last post all the way. The work is entirely project dependant. Though i may not be very high up in the chain as a graduate joiner, i still wrok from around 8.30am - 8pm (average) and sometimes later. At the end of the day, you work till you get the work done, thats hte bottom line.

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#5 Re: working time directive
10/03/2006 17:38

I would presume that as with most professions a working time opt would be signed in consultancy - meaning max hours do not apply!

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#6 Re: working time directive
10/03/2006 18:05

ad

According to the DTI document Accenture policy is to not allow consultants to opt out...and to treat any understatement of hours as a disciplinary offence...and they have a report that flags up people working too many hours.

Rather than a PR exercise I would guess it is a gap between good intentions and the reality of the consulting market. However I think it is interesting that the intention is there. It seems quite likely that the larger consultancies will face a legal challenge at some point if they fail to make efforts to manage working hours.

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#7 Re: this is a good one!
14/03/2006 21:56

PA-er

HR tend to think lots of things are a good idea....

But:

Consultants don't tend to sign WTD opt outs- it is usually in their contracts- normal business hours are x to y, but you are required to work hours as sppropritate to the demnds of the client or something similar. There is also usually clause about travelling outside working hours when neccessary

It isn't just projects that affect our working hours- if you're off impressing a client for 3months, you also have to do something to remind your line manager, practise head etc that you still exist- particularly as you get higher up the ladder. so 7.5 hours on the client site, billed and pleasing HR... then 4 hours writing an article or a training course- un billed and so invisible- but still work time

Trust me, if work life balance is your priority, stay in industry...

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