Choking on all the red tape
The European Court of Justice has dumped yet another bureaucratic burden on German employers, said Ulf Poschardt. It used to be the responsibility of workers to report their overtime hours to supervisors. But thanks to a complaint by a Spanish union—and given the reputation of Spanish labor, that’s a “trite punch line” to this joke of a ruling—companies are now required to document all work hours. They are effectively bringing back the punch card, so workers will clock in and clock out and be paid accordingly. Such overreach is embarrassing for the whole European Union. You can just imagine the U.K.’s Brexit Party leader, the arch-Euroskeptic Nigel Farage, “gleefully picking this to pieces in his next speech.” Now it will be easier than ever for Farage and other foes of European integration to portray “hyper-bureaucratic Europe as a growth and investment killer.” Germany already has highly complex employment laws that protect workers and prevent companies from being as nimble as they can be elsewhere. Many foreign firms and investors “are likely to give the EU an even wider berth after this decision.” Jobs have already shifted to countries with fewer worker protections. If more companies move factories and offices overseas because of this new ruling, are the workers better off? No—they’re out of a job altogether.