Working Time Directive back on the agenda

The
European Commission has put the Working Time Directive back on the agenda, by suggesting
proposals for a crackdown on so-called abuses of the directive.

Currently
Europe’s working week is limited to 48 hours, but staff can choose to ‘opt-out’
of this.

Now
four amendments to the current system have been suggested:


Tightening the conditions under which individuals can opt out


Allowing changes on the basis of collective agreement between employers and
employees


Retaining the individual opt-out where no collective agreement is reached


Removing the opt-out altogether.

TUC
general secretary Brendan Barber hailed the decision as “a defeat for the British
Government which has been arguing that the opt-out should simply stay.”

However,
the CBI has pledged to “fight tooth and nail” against the removal of the
opt-out. And David Yeandle of the manufacturers’ organisation EEF said there
was a possibility that the individual opt-out could go and employers would need
to have contingency plans ready if this were to happen.

By
Mike Berry

 

 

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