The decision by the employment committee of the European Parliament to scrap the opt-out to the Working time Directive is a blow for business, according the manufacturer’s association EEF.
The committee voted to remove the individual opt-out by 2010, so companies in the UK would no longer be able to ask staff to work more than 48 hours a week.
EEF deputy director of employment policy, David Yeandle, said the decision demonstrated that most MEPs have failed to recognise the importance of preserving labour market flexibility.
“The UK government must continue to stand firm in its desire to retain the opt-out and enable working time to be averaged over 52 weeks without conditions,” he said.
The EEF has vowed to work with the CBI to continue campaigning for the retention of the opt-out.