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ITT: Office & IT workers who have no clue that this might not be just about them but the millions of factory workers, shop attendants, builders etc that are forced to work overtime without pay. And you better not say anything, because you are very replaceable.

My personal experience? I've had to record my work times accurately for a few years, it was kinda annoying, but also freeing. Wanted to work in the weekend? no problem. Wanted to leave early or sleep in? no problem. Now I 'just kinda have to make sure I work my 40 hours' and always feel pressure to stay 9 till' 5 and do as little as possible outside of that.

It's a common theme here on HN when it comes to worker's rights and unions. Being a one-percenter where companies bend over backwards to cater to you, it's easy to dismiss these things.

Not my experience in Europe though. My last two employers here constantly over promised (e.g.: unlimited vacations/parental leave, flexible hours, work from home, etc) and really really under delivered. I would rather have things set in stone first nowadays b/c the mindset of most managers here are still not ready for those.

Unlimited PTO is more an American thing in my experience. And is never really unlimited as you will be judged when using it. In Europe it's common with 5+ weeks of vacation, which is also often mandatory by law to take.

well, what can I say, this company had a real problem following the union agreements and EU laws: no paid extra hours (on-call), no notice, no paternity leave according to local laws, etc. On the other hand, was really adamant to keep the 9:30 stand-up meeting for the sake of face time.

> Wanted to work in the weekend? no problem.

Except that in many countries in Europe you aren't allowed to work on Sundays, and time tracking will be used to enforce it.

It's actually more liberal than that. You are allowed to work on Sunday, but it's more expensive for your employer as they need to compensate the discomfort. Double pay and triple pay are not uncommon (although taxes will eat most of that). In the end, your employer probably will not let you work Sundays if it isn't worth it (to them).

> Double pay and triple pay are not uncommon (although taxes will eat most of that)

People have the weirdest views on how tax actually works. Taxes will eat the same proportion, or potentially marginally more - but unless a persons marginal rate is suddenly >50% you're obviously wrong.

I would go as far as to suggest this is a non issue in the majority of cases where overtime is paid.

Tax rate for Western EU workers is definitely above 50%, if you look at aggregate national income that finishes in government budgets (about 53%).

In Belgium (where I live), taxation IS progressive (and very high), and it is a step function. You can even end up earning less if you exceeded some limit that causes your tax rate to jump up x%. Anyway, overtime, extra time, Sunday work can typically also be recuperated later (So you don't get paid but you get some time off) which is interesting too. It's not marginal neither. For example, Tax Liberation Day is July 27th in Belgium.

Are you sure? It works the same way as in other EU countries who have stepped progressive taxes.

This means that you pay a% between x and y €, then b% between y and z€ etc. It means you cannot get less because you got to the higher interval.

That's right. You hit different brackets but each only affects income over that brackets minimum. You just progressively pocket less the more you earn which is sort of diminishing the return on your investment in work hours.

Yes, so you cannot end up earning less because of the step. You always earn more, though the "more" is more and more taxed.

I would be glad to be in the highest, most taxed step.

I think an example will clarify what I mean:

Suppose you work a normal hour: you get 1 euro, but taxes eat 50%. you get 0.5 euro.

Now suppose you work an extra hour on Sunday. According to the collective labour agreement, you get 150% so you get 1.5 euro, but your current tax slot was filled and because of the extra hour you fall into a higher rate. The extra income is taxed at a higher rate of 68%. 1.5 * 0.32 = 0.48 < 0.50. So even though you got 150% you earned less.

It does not need to be so complicated, with extra money earned on a Sunday.

Suppose you earn 100€ per month.

Taxes can be flat (say, 10%), in which case no matter how much you earned so far you get 90€

Taxes can be progressive (say, 10% up to 300€, then 20%) and you earn

Jan 90€ (YTD 100€ before taxes)

Feb 90€ (YTD 200€ before taxes)

Mar 90€ (YTD 300€ before taxes <-- this is the top of the 1st level)

Then in April you get 100€ before taxes, which means 400€ YTD. The first 300€ were at 10%, this April 100€ is at 20%. So you get only 80€.

There can be different ways to calculate this, this is just the general idea.

The important point is that you still get more money than you had before. It is not possible to loose money (= have the value decrease) just because you changed the level.

You just get less and less money per month (in steps) as you progress during the year.

I would be delighted to be in the highest step, it means I earn a lot of money.

Finally, the only (extreme) problem would be if you were taxed 100% starting from some amount of accumulated money. It would mean that from that point on you work for free.

Europe is big and countries have different laws. In Germany, the Arbeitszeitgesetz (working time law), §9, explicitly states that employees must not be employed/given work during sun- and holidays. Exceptions obviously apply, but this is the general rule.

You can work Sunday, but weekend work typically needs approval as it is compensated higher.

Not true e.g. in Germany - Sunday work is only allowed in specific exceptional cases. §9 and 10 ArbZG.

> forced to work overtime without pay.

This frequently happens in IT as well, with this actually put inside the contract.

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