EU Employment Council

Business Groups Welcome Continued 48-Hour Week Opt-Out

Small-business groups have welcomed a ruling by the EU Employment Council to retain UK employers’ right to ask staff to work more than 48 hours a week, writes Tom Whitney Under the EU’s working time directive, employees are restricted to a maximum working week of 48 hours. However, an opt-out clause allows the UK to permit employees to work a longer week. The rules do not oblige employers to offer overtime or require staff to work it. The EU Employment Council ruling retains the UK’s 48-hour week opt-out, but restricts employees to working a 60 hour maximum working week, averaged out over three months so they can work longer hours in busy periods. This is a reduction from the current cap of 78 hours per week. Under the new rules, employers will not be able to ask workers ... »