· 1 min read · News

UK keeps its opt-out from working time regulations


It is official. The UK will retain its opt-out from a 48-hour week Working Time Directive, after negotiations at the European Parliament broke down without reaching agreement.

The collapse of negotiations means an end to the EU proposal to phase in a maximum 48-hour week for employees over the next three years. At the meeting in Brussels it was agreed that because the UK and other countries continued to hold firm against the regulations, there was no value in continuing the discussion.

Employment relations minister Pat McFadden [pictured] said: "We refused to be pushed into a bad deal for Britain. We have said consistently we will not give up the opt-out and we have delivered on that pledge.

"Everyone has the right to basic protection surrounding the hours they work, but it is also important they have the right to choose those hours.

"The current economic climate makes it more important than ever that people continue to have the right to put more money in their pockets by working longer hours if they choose to do so."

More on the working time debate...