CBI: Workers should be able to choose long hours

Removing the working time opt-out would restrict employees' freedom to manage their lives, it has been claimed.

Commenting ahead of the conciliation committee meeting in Brussels, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) highlights the consequences of removing the opt-out from the 48-hour week established by the Working Time Directive.

According to the organisation, April 1st’s meeting will see delegations from the European Commission, MEPs and the Council of Ministers discuss a revised text for the directive, with some aiming to make the 48-hour week binding for all workers.

The group claims that banning people from choosing to work longer hours will reduce the amount of overtime employees can earn, damage their career aspirations and diminish their ability to support their families through the recession.

John Cridland, deputy director general of the CBI, explains: ‘The legislation proposed by some politicians would impose a ban on working longer hours and not take into account individual circumstances and ambitions.’

Last week, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform warned companies to prepare for an increase in the number of people eligible to apply for flexible working, as parents of children up to the age of 16 will now be able to apply for it.

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