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CBI CALLS ON MEPS TO REJECT WORKING TIME AMENDMENTS

CBI CALLS ON MEPS TO REJECT WORKING TIME AMENDMENTS
MEPs THREATEN BRITAINS CHOICE AT WORK

The CBI has called on MEPs to reject proposals that would ban people in Britain from choosing to work more than 48 hours per week.

At the moment, workers can decide to opt out of the 48 hour maximum working week1. Three million Britons do so, according to government figures.

But amendments to the directive put forward by Alejandro Cercas, an MEP in the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, aim to remove the opt-out choice. They will be voted on by the European Parliaments Committee on Employment and Social Affairs on Wednesday 5th November.

The amendments would ban staff from choosing to work more than 48 hours a week whatever their personal or professional circumstances.

For example, staff in a company fighting for survival would be banned from working extra hours during an unexpected increase in demand, or from doing extra overtime in response to their own financial circumstances.

John Cridland, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: Some people want to work longer hours, some people dont. The opt-out gives them a choice.

These proposed amendments are misguided. In hard times, somebody may want to work extra hours to help support their family. Staff in a company thats fighting for survival may choose to work longer hours.

We think people can look at their own circumstances and decide if they want to work longer hours. We call this common sense, and it doesnt need amending by Brussels.

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