This section is in advanced English and is only intended to be a guide, not to be taken too seriously!
Facts and Figures
There are about 3.7 million businesses in the UK.
About 75% of British jobs are in service industries – hotels, restaurants, travel, shopping, and computer and finances. It is our fastest growing business and employs over twenty million people.
The working day/week
The usual working day starts at 9am and finishes by 5pm. Most people work a five-day week. The working week is, on average, the longest of any country in Europe. In 1998 a new law was passed saying that workers do not have to work more than 48 hours a week if they don’t want to. However, about 22% of British workers do work more than a 48-hour a week. However, on the whole everyone is out of the office early on Fridays and no one would dream of coming to work on Saturdays.
British employers must give their workers four weeks paid holiday a year.
The tea break
Frequent tea breaks are the bane of office productivity.
One strange custom requires you to ask everyone around whether they’d like tea or coffee whenever you go to get some for yourself. Often people will try and wait each other out so that they can avoid this chore.
The tea break is so famous there is even a song about it:-
EVERYTHING STOPS FOR TEA
Featured in Buchanan’s 1935 comedy film, “Come Out Of The Pantry” (Goodhart / Hoffman / Sigler) Jack Buchanan
Every nation in creation has its favourite drink
France is famous for its wine, it’s beer in Germany
Turkey has its coffee and they serve it blacker than ink
Russians go for vodka and England loves its tea
Oh, the factories may be roaring
With a boom-a-lacka, zoom-a-lacka, wee
But there isn’t any roar when the clock strikes four
Everything stops for tea
Oh, a lawyer in the courtroom