European Parliament to review Working Time Directive

10 May 2007
European Parliament to review Working Time Directive

The European Parliament has sent a delegation to Portugal to establish whether it plans to resurect the Working Time Directive (WTD) when it takes over the presidency in September.

It is, as yet, unclear whether the Portuguese will put the WTD review on its list of priorities during its tenure.

Agreement on a review of the WTD, which has been needed since 1993, has failed to be reached by six successive presidencies after the British Government steadfastly remained against the removal of the opt-out clause allowing employees voluntarily to work more than 48 hours a week.

Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, was visting Portugal as Caterer went to press to establish the Portuguese position. She said: "There is stalemate in the council regarding the opt-out, but the British position is untenable and unpoliceable."

The current revised directive provides a lot of flexibility, such as "annualisation", she added, which could still allow groups such as seasonal hospitality workers to work more than 48 hours a week during peak periods.

Sean McGuire, chief policy adviser in Brussels for employers' body the Confederation of British Industry, warned that the WTD had become a political football, but added: "We would like to see agreement on the WTD so we can move on to other issues, such as the ageing population and disability, but everything is stalled until this issue gets off the table."

London Labour MEP Robert Evans, who wants the opt-out clause removed, said: "We are working with the Government to find a compromise position."

European commissioner suspends funding to five RDAs >>

By Emily Manson

E-mail your comments to Emily Manson]( Time Directive review) here.

[The Caterer Blog]( Catch up with more news and gossip on the Caterer Blog here
[Newswire For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail news alerts.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking