The ability of UK employers to allow employees to opt out from the European Working Time Directive is set to continue. This means that, where employees wish, they will still be able to work more than 48 hours a week.
The European Parliament had wanted to scrap the opt out.
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said:
"We refused to be pushed into a bad deal for Britain. We have said consistently that we will not give up the opt out and we have delivered on that pledge. “
"Everyone has the right to basic protections surrounding the hours that they work, but it is also important that they have the right to choose those hours. “
"In the UK and many other Member States, choice over working hours has operated successfully for many years. 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."
For more information on the operation of the working time regulations please visit the Business Link guidance below.
Source: Press release Business Link guidance