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.
Europe’s working week is limited to 48 hours, but staff can choose to ‘opt-out’
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
Retaining the individual opt-out where no collective agreement is reached
Removing the opt-out altogether.
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.”
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.