Green party MEP Jean Lambert has condemned the decision to formalise the UK opt-out of the 48-hour working week.
Yesterday, HRZone.co.uk reported on the landmark agreement by ministers allowing UK workers to continue to choose to work longer than 48 hours a week.
Lambert said: “It is a huge disappointment that the working time opt-out has not been over-turned. The directive is a health and safety measure: long working hours, or interrupted sleep patterns while on call, put people at risk. Tired workers are a danger to themselves and to others. No government should be putting flexibility ahead of health.”
Lambert extended a cautious welcome, however, to a new agreement establishing rights for temporary workers from day one. “This package signals some progress for temporary and agency workers at last, but it looks as if their gain has been traded off against keeping the working time opt-out. Parliament may not take the same approach.”