By 2010 employers will no longer be able to ask staff to agree to working longer than 48 hours a week.
The Employment Committee of the European Parliament has voted to scrap the individual opt-out in the Working Time Directive.
Bosses’ group, the CBI were very ‘disappointed’ by the decision claiming that the Committee had failed to take a ‘balanced approach’ to the issue.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General commented:
“Perceptions of abuse are misplaced and rather than phasing it out the CBI had urged MEPs on the committee to accept amendments designed to strengthen the protection for those who do not wish to work more than 48 hours.
“We will now be briefing MEPs of all parties ahead of the full Parliament vote in mid-May and we hope that they will recognise the importance of this to UK employers and their employees. It is reassuring that the UK Government understands business concerns and continues to stand resolutely against any proposal to get rid of the opt-out.”