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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of laws to limit working hours from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Customer Needs

Some countries have introduced laws to limit working hours for employees.

Why are these laws introduced?

Do you think they are a positive or negative development?

An increasing number of nations have enacted laws to protect average working hours. In my opinion, these laws are meant to limit exploitive practices and they are advantageous if enforced well.

Lawmakers typically argue these reforms defend employees. Before labor laws existed, it was common for corporations to require long working days under extreme conditions. Modern stipulations that limit working hours are responding to these deeply-rooted historic concerns. For example, in many developing nations, the labor laws are often not strict, leading to so-called ‘sweatshops’ where employees work long hours in dangerous environments for little pay. This mistreatment has been exposed in the media and now citizens demand better treatment. The laws therefore establish basic guidelines to prevent employees from working excessive hours.

On the whole, these laws are positive as long as they are nuanced and enforced consistently. There are many countries where such laws have been passed but in practice they are not followed and workers have little recourse to report infractions. These laws must be strictly monitored including preventing employers from firing employees who make complaints. Moreover, there are possible exceptions. A factory worker, for example, should never be required to work too many hours as they are likely earning a low wage and putting their health at risk. However, many white collar workers, such as those at a start-up, may desire to work 90+ hour workweeks due to an overriding passion for a project. The law must discriminate between these dissimilar cases.

In conclusion, labor laws related to maximum working hours are meant to safeguard workers’ rights and are positive generally depending on their execution. It is important that governments propose laws they believe are enforceable and beneficial for the whole of society.

Analysis

1. An increasing number of nations have enacted laws to protect average working hours. 2. In my opinion, these laws are meant to limit exploitive practices and they are advantageous if enforced well.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Lawmakers typically argue these reforms defend employees. 2. Before labor laws existed, it was common for corporations to require long working days under extreme conditions. 3. Modern stipulations that limit working hours are responding to these deeply-rooted historic concerns. 4. For example, in many developing nations, the labor laws are often not strict, leading to so-called ‘sweatshops’ where employees work long hours in dangerous environments for little pay. 5. This mistreatment has been exposed in the media and now citizens demand better treatment. 6. The laws therefore establish basic guidelines to prevent employees from working excessive hours.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Stay focused on the same main idea.
  6. Finish by adding extra detail.

1. On the whole, these laws are positive as long as they are nuanced and enforced consistently. 2. There are many countries where such laws have been passed but in practice they are not followed and workers have little recourse to report infractions. 3. These laws must be strictly monitored including preventing employers from firing employees who make complaints. 4. Moreover, there are possible exceptions. 5. A factory worker, for example, should never be required to work too many hours as they are likely earning a low wage and putting their health at risk. 6. However, many white collar workers, such as those at a start-up, may desire to work 90+ hour workweeks due to an overriding passion for a project. 7. The law must discriminate between these dissimilar cases.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. For this one, you might include some of the positive and negative.
  7. Finish with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, labor laws related to maximum working hours are meant to safeguard workers’ rights and are positive generally depending on their execution. 2. It is important that governments propose laws they believe are enforceable and beneficial for the whole of society.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

An increasing number of nations have enacted laws to protect average working hours. In my opinion, these laws are meant to limit exploitive practices and they are advantageous if enforced well.

Lawmakers typically argue these reforms defend employees. Before labor laws existed, it was common for corporations to require long working days under extreme conditions. Modern stipulations that limit working hours are responding to these deeply-rooted historic concerns. For example, in many developing nations, the labor laws are often not strict, leading to so-called ‘sweatshops’ where employees work long hours in dangerous environments for little pay. This mistreatment has been exposed in the media and now citizens demand better treatment. The laws therefore establish basic guidelines to prevent employees from working excessive hours.

On the whole, these laws are positive as long as they are nuanced and enforced consistently. There are many countries where such laws have been passed but in practice they are not followed and workers have little recourse to report infractions. These laws must be strictly monitored including preventing employers from firing employees who make complaints. Moreover, there are possible exceptions. A factory worker, for example, should never be required to work too many hours as they are likely earning a low wage and putting their health at risk. However, many white collar workers, such as those at a start-up, may desire to work 90+ hour workweeks due to an overriding passion for a project. The law must discriminate between these dissimilar cases.

In conclusion, labor laws related to maximum working hours are meant to safeguard workers’ rights and are positive generally depending on their execution. It is important that governments propose laws they believe are enforceable and beneficial for the whole of society.

Answers

increasing growing

enacted laws pass regulations

protect average safeguard normal

meant supposed to be for

limit exploitive practices keep under control taking advantage of workers

advantageous positive

if enforced well assuming they are actively followed

lawmakers the government

reforms changes

defend safeguard

labor laws rules safeguarding workers

common prevalent

corporations companies

require need

under extreme conditions in bad working environments

modern stipulations new rules

responding addressing

deeply-rooted historic concerns worries from a long time in the past

developing nations poorer countries

strict severe

leading causing

so-called often termed

‘sweatshops’ factories where workers are mistreated

dangerous environments unsafe workplaces

little pay not much of a salary

mistreatment treated badly

exposed made people aware of it

demand better treatment ask strongly for fairer laws

establish basic guidelines put in place minimum rules

prevent stop

excessive too strong

on the whole overall

as long as assuming that

nuanced complex

enforced consistently everyone follows them all the time

passed enacted

in practice in reality

recourse way to complain

report infractions make complaints about breaking the rules

strictly monitored watched closely

preventing stopping

firing getting laid off

make complaints report a problem

possible exceptions potential cases outside the norm

factory worker person working in a factory

earning a low wage not making much money

putting their health at risk easy to get sick, hurt

white collar workers people with good office jobs

start-up new company

90+ hour workweeks really long hours

due to because of

overriding passion really strong desire

discriminate between know the different between

dissimilar cases different examples

maximum the most

safeguard protect

depending on in some cases

execution how they are done

propose laws suggest rules

enforceable can be enforced, followed

beneficial good

the whole of society everyone

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋ 
ɪˈnæktɪd lɔːz 
prəˈtɛkt ˈævərɪʤ 
mɛnt 
ˈlɪmɪt ˈɛksplɔɪtɪv ˈpræktɪsɪz 
ˌædvənˈteɪʤəs 
ɪf ɪnˈfɔːst wɛl
ˈlɔːˌmeɪkəz 
ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
dɪˈfɛnd 
ˈleɪbə lɔːz 
ˈkɒmən 
ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz 
rɪˈkwaɪə 
ˈʌndər ɪksˈtriːm kənˈdɪʃənz
ˈmɒdən ˌstɪpjʊˈleɪʃənz 
rɪsˈpɒndɪŋ
ˈdiːpli-ˈruːtɪd hɪsˈtɒrɪk kənˈsɜːnz
dɪˈvɛləpɪŋ ˈneɪʃənz
strɪkt
ˈliːdɪŋ 
ˈsəʊˈkɔːld 
ˈswɛtˌʃɒps 
ˈdeɪnʤrəs ɪnˈvaɪərənmənts 
ˈlɪtl peɪ
mɪsˈtriːtmənt 
ɪksˈpəʊzd 
dɪˈmɑːnd ˈbɛtə ˈtriːtmənt
ɪsˈtæblɪʃ ˈbeɪsɪk ˈgaɪdlaɪnz 
prɪˈvɛnt 
ɪkˈsɛsɪv 
ɒn ðə həʊl
æz lɒŋ æz 
nju(ː)ˈɑːnst 
ɪnˈfɔːst kənˈsɪstəntli
pɑːst 
ɪn ˈpræktɪs 
rɪˈkɔːs 
rɪˈpɔːt ɪnˈfrækʃənz
ˈstrɪktli ˈmɒnɪtəd 
prɪˈvɛntɪŋ 
ˈfaɪərɪŋ 
meɪk kəmˈpleɪnts
ˈpɒsəbl ɪkˈsɛpʃənz
ˈfæktəri ˈwɜːkə
ˈɜːnɪŋ ə ləʊ weɪʤ 
ˈpʊtɪŋ ðeə hɛlθ æt rɪsk
waɪt ˈkɒlə ˈwɜːkəz
ˈstɑːtʌp
90+ ˈaʊə ˈwɜːkwiːks 
djuː tuː 
ˌəʊvəˈraɪdɪŋ ˈpæʃən 
dɪsˈkrɪmɪnɪt bɪˈtwiːn 
ˌdɪˈsɪmɪlə ˈkeɪsɪz
ˈmæksɪməm 
ˈseɪfgɑːd 
dɪˈpɛndɪŋ ɒn 
ˌɛksɪˈkjuːʃən
prəˈpəʊz lɔːz
ɪnˈfɔːsəbl 
ˌbɛnɪˈfɪʃəl 
ðə həʊl ɒv səˈsaɪəti

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

An i___________g number of nations have e_____________s to p_____________e working hours. In my opinion, these laws are m_______t to l___________________s and they are a________________s i_________________l.

L______________s typically argue these r_________s d________d employees. Before l____________s existed, it was c_________n for c_____________s to r__________e long working days u__________________________s. M_____________________s that limit working hours are r___________g to these d___________________________________s. For example, in many d_______________________s, the labor laws are often not s_______t, l_________g to s___________d ‘s_____________s’ where employees work long hours in d_____________________________s for l_________y. This m______________t has been e_________d in the media and now citizens d_______________________t. The laws therefore e_____________________s to p_________t employees from working e_____________e hours.

O_______________e, these laws are positive a__________s they are n________d and e______________________y. There are many countries where such laws have been p________d but i__________e they are not followed and workers have little r__________e to r___________________s. These laws must be s_____________________d including p___________g employers from f_______g employees who m__________________s. Moreover, there are p______________________s. A f__________________r, for example, should never be required to work too many hours as they are likely e______________________e and p_____________________________k. However, many w____________________s, such as those at a s_________p, may desire to work 9________________________s d________o an o____________________n for a project. The law must d_______________________n these d________________s.

In conclusion, labor laws related to m___________m working hours are meant to s____________d workers’ rights and are positive generally d______________n their e_________________n. It is important that governments p_____________s they believe are e_________________e and b______________l for t______________________y.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/american-immigration-service-slavery/555824/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Work (Model answer available on my Patreon)

  1. Do you work or are you a student?
  2. Do you like your current job?
  3. In the future, do you want to change jobs?

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

In many countries, people are spending more time in their workplace.

Why is this?

Is this a negative or positive development?


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