TUC to help staff opt back in to 48-hour week

The TUC has launched a campaign to help workers opt back in to a 48-hour
working week.

The trade union body claims that one-in-four people are forced to sign the
opt-out, which allows them to work more than the legal limit of 48-hours a

Time’s up for Long Hours is a ‘how to’ guide to opting back in to a 48-hour
working week, and includes a model letter that workers can use to tell their
bosses they no longer want to work more than 48 hours a week.

All an employee needs to do to opt back in is write a letter saying they
wish to do so. It is illegal for an employer to take action against them or
sack an employee because of their choice.

The TUC says many employees do not know their rights – only one-in-three is
even aware there is a 48-hour limit on the average working week.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: "The UK’s long-hours
culture is a threat to the health and safety of employees and a threat to the
health and growth of the UK economy. Employees are tired and stressed. Business
is unproductive.

"The European Commission should end the opt-out to the EU Working Time
Directive when it is reviewed later this year."

The guide is available at www.workSMART.org.uk

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