Comments are closed. EC decision on 48-hour opt-out before ChristmasOn 9 Dec 2003 in Personnel Today The decision by the European Commission on whether to recommend a ban on UKemployees working longer than a 48-hour week is due to be announced beforeChristmas. The recommendation could dramatically change the way UK employers,especially in industries such as logistics, catering and construction, rosterstaff. David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at the manufacturers’organisation EEF, said while he expects a document before Christmas, he doesnot know what it will contain. “There is a lack of clarity [about] the contents and the status of thedocument – it is not known whether it will be viewed as a general consultationdocument or as the first stage of formal consultation,” he said. Currently, the Working Time Directive – which was adopted in 1993 – allowsstaff to opt-out of the limit, but its use has been under review by Europeafter fears that UK employers were abusing the clause. An independent report by Cambridge academics found “evidence of theopt-out being included as a standard term of employment contracts and so, ineffect, being compulsory”. However, the report also notes that the conciliation service Acas feels theopt-out “has not created significant industrial relationsdifficulties”, and that the T&G union believes “the freedom towork overtime rather than employer pressure was the major incentive”behind opt-out agreements. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.