working time directive

UK protects working time opt out

Talks on the EU Working Time Directive have broken down without agreement being reached. The collapse sees the end of the European Parliament’s proposal to phase out the opt-out in three years. The UK and other countries have consistently held firm against this proposal. A conciliation meeting in Brussels between the Member States, European Parliament and the European Commission was unable to resolve the long-standing differences between the European Parliament and member states over whether to retain the opt-out or not. With the deadline for reaching an agreement rapidly approaching, and the differences between the parties too great, it was agreed there was no value in continuing the negotiations any further. Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said: "We refused to be pu... »

UK stands firm on working time regulations opt-out

Brussels talks on the EU Working Time Directive broke up in the early hours of this morning without agreement, with the UK successfully resisting pressure to accept the removal of the right to opt-out of the maximum 48-hours week. A meeting of the EU’s Conciliation Committee was unable to resolve differences between the European Parliament and member states over whether to retain the opt-out or not. The UK and other countries held firm against a European Parliament amendment to the Working Time Regulations that would have phased out the opt-out in three years. Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said: “We have said consistently that we would not give up the opt-out and that continues to be the case.” “We argued that everyone has the right to basic protections... »

Working Time Directive

Agency Worker reforms go ahead

The European Parliament has agreed to an EU directive which will give temporary workers the same employment rights as permanent staff. The directive will give agency staff equal employment rights after 12 weeks on the job. This means they would receive equal pay and holiday entitlements, as well as the right to regular work breaks. However, temporary workers will be exempt from certain benefits, including sick pay and pensions. EU member states now have three years to implement the directive, but the UK Government has promised to act quickly by introducing draft legislation in early 2009. The UK has accepted the EU directive in return for being allowed to retain its opt–out from the Working Time Directive, including the 48–hour working week. According to the Federation of Small... »

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 ... »