Opt-out on the way out as MEPs vote to end work-time anomaly

The
UK’s opt-out of the EU Working Time Directive is under serious threat, with the
European Parliament today calling on the European Commission to end the right
of UK employees to work more than 48-hours a week.

In
a non-binding vote, MEPs called for an end to the opt-out after claiming it was
being abused by employers who were forcing staff to sign away their right to
limited hours.

According
to the TUC, four million people in the UK work more than 48 hours a week on
average -the longest working week in Europe.

Employers
fear that industries that rely on long hours from staff, including
manufacturing and the health sector will be very badly hit by the loss of the
opt-out.

Unions
claim employers abuse the opt-out and that one in three workers who have signed
an opt-out were given no choice.

By Michael Millar

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