Stand firm over UK’s working time opt-out

Most people who want the removal of the opt-out clause in the Working Time Directive (WTD) are those who work in office-based businesses (Personnel Today, 24 May).

I work for an automotive company supplying car interiors to a variety of car manufacturers. As with a lot of engineering businesses these days, demand goes up and down daily and we struggle to survive.

We don’t want our staff to work long hours, but we need their willingness to do so when the need arises. We would struggle to cover customer requirements if we could not ask our employees to work overtime when necessary, and it would increase our costs to have employees recruited just in case we needed them.

I don’t believe we should take away the right of people to choose if they want to work extra hours. However, the issue that does need addressing is ensuring that companies don’t force staff to work when they don’t want to. Blanketing every company with a law which states that no-one will work more than 48 hours a week is not managing the situation.

I believe the WTD opt-out works well, and that the government should not allow itself to be bullied into removing it.

Karen Parker
HR manager, Intier


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