Big firms give 48-hour week opt-out

Staff are opting out of the Working Time directive in large numbers,
according to CBI research.

More than 70 per cent of large companies reveal that many of their staff
have signed deals excluding themselves from the right to a 48-hour week.

Susan Anderson, director of HR policy of the CBI, believes many employees
want to do overtime.

She said, "It’s all about free choice. Many managers want to work
longer hours and there have also been cases of blue-collar workers demanding to
work overtime."

The research also shows the UK workforce is feeling increasingly secure in
their jobs as skills shortages continue to intensify. But employers are being
increasingly hard hit by skills shortages, with 39 per cent of firms claiming
this has had a significant impact on competitiveness.

Anderson said, "Skills shortages and job security are a function of
what is happening in the wider economy. But firms are responding to this
challenge by spending more money on training."

The CBI surveyed 670 large firms employing a total of 2.8 million people.

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