The Government has vowed to defeat European moves to prevent UK employees from voluntarily working more than 48 hours per week.
The vote was described as "misguided" by the CBI and Business Secretary Peter Mandelson agreed, insisting it would be "absurd" to stop employees choosing to work longer than 48 hours
"Millions of employees and businesses in the UK and Europe have benefited from freedom of choice on working hours for many years," he said. "To take that choice away would be absurd. We're determined to protect the opt-out.
"Our focus is on helping businesses and employees through these testing times - not making their lives harder," Mandelson added.
By Daniel Thomas
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