Working hours still exceed directive, claims report

Many employees are still working in excess of 48 hours a
week despite the introduction of the Working Time Regulations, claims a new

The CIPD study shows that 60 per cent of those who worked more
than 48 hours a week, before the regulations took effect in October 1998, are
still doing so.

It also showed that only 2 per cent of employees had their
hours reduced to 48 hours or less as a direct result of the regulations.

The findings were based on follow-up interviews with 486
people who originally worked more than 48 hours a week in a nationwide survey
conducted in July 1998.

Although the majority of those surveyed are still working
beyond the regulations’ limit of 48 hours, those in paid work have reduced
their working hours by around six hours on average – now working 52 hours a
week, compared to 58 hours in July 1998.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, the report’s author
Melissa Compton-Edwards said, "The regulations seem to have had very little
impact in terms of reducing the working week of those who were working long
hours before the legislation took effect to within the 48-hour limit."

By Ben Willmott



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