TUC urges EC to postpone reform of working time regulations

Ahead
of today’s meeting of the European Commission, the TUC has claimed that weak
working-time rules and the UK’s opt-out from the 48-hour limit on the average
working week has made little difference to the UK’s long hours culture.

In
a new report, the TUC accuses the Government of spinning statistics to
"exaggerate a slight fall in long-hours working".

The
TUC said it would take 45 years at the current rate of progress before
long-hours working falls to the EU average.

TUC
general secretary Brendan Barber has written to the EU Commission ahead of its
consideration of proposals to reform European working time rules to ask the
commission to defer a decision to allow more discussion with union and employer
representatives.

Barber
said: "UK
workers are going to be left exposed to dangerous long-hours working by these
weak reforms to our weak working-time protections. Nearly four million UK
employees are regularly working more than 48 hours a week.

"The
UK
has more long-hours workers than any other European country, and although the
number has fallen slightly, at the current rate of reduction we will not reach
the European average for 45 years," he said.

"Working long hours is bad for health
and bad for business. We urge the commission to abandon its current proposals
to enable further consultation with unions and employers as neither are content
with what is on the table," Barber said.

By Quentin Reade

 

 

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