Posted by Word Camel on February 14, 2003
In Reply to: A day's work for a day's pay posted by ESC on February 14, 2003
: : Can anybody tell me what the phrase "a day's work for a day's pay" means? I need to translate this saying into german. However I am not sure whether I understood it correctly.
: I am away from my library so I can't give you references at this point. But this phrase (to me) is about being an honest, good employee. The worker gives his/her employer a FULL day's work for a day's pay. If you are paid for eight hours, you are hard at work for eight hours. Not drinking coffee and gossiping with co-workers.
: In modern terms, it is about not being a slacker, a goof-off or a goldbricker. You don't cheat your employer.
This is an old slogan used in British Labour movement (and possibly the American as well)where is was about fair employment practices. In other words, a worker should be paid the going rate for the work put in regardless of his gender or race, etc. A worker paid less because he's on a job training scheme would be an example of someone who is putting in a day's work but not receiving a day's pay
I am not sure which understanding of the expression predates the other but the idea that it's understood as being about not cheating employers is interesting.