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(De) regulation of working time, employer capture, and ‘forced availability’ : a comparison between the UK and Cyprus food retail sector

Hadjisolomou, Anastasios and Newsome, Kirsty and Cunningham, Ian (2017) (De) regulation of working time, employer capture, and ‘forced availability’ : a comparison between the UK and Cyprus food retail sector. International Journal of Human Resource Management. ISSN 0958-5192

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Abstract

This article is concerned with exploring how working time is regulated and experienced in the highly competitive international food retailing sector in two EU countries – the UK and Cyprus. Working time across the EU is regulated through the European Working Time Directives. The Regulations are enacted in the domestic legislation of member states with considerable differences across national boundaries (Boulin et al, 2006). Variations and gaps in state intervention imply scope for other actors (i.e. employers, employees and unions) to influence and shape the regulation of working time in their own interests. In doing so, it highlights the capture by employers of rostering and scheduling by employers at the enterprise level as a key characteristic of the regulation of this key aspect of the employment relationship. It suggests the need for collective and individual solutions from all regulatory actors to protect vulnerable workers in retail grocery sector and beyond.