Ongoing negotiations between the European Parliament and member states over proposed amendments to the Working Time Directive have now collapsed without agreement being reached. This means that there will be no amendment to the Directive and, in particular, the right to opt-out of the maximum 48-hour week is retained. Employers will be relieved at the news. In the UK more than one in ten employees work more than 48 hours per week. Had the opt-out been scrapped, employers would have lost flexibility and many employees would have been financially worse off. The current proposal will officially fail at the end of the conciliation period in May and then the Commission will have to decide whether or not to introduce new proposals for reform of the Directive.
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