Working Time Directive

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5 February 1998.

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Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister of State (Competitiveness), Department of Trade and Industry 12:00, 5 February 1998

My hon. Friend is absolutely correct. For the first time in Britain, some 2.5 million low-paid workers will be entitled to paid holidays. Millions of other workers will gain the right to consultation with their employers before being forced to work unsociable, unhealthy and long hours. Some employees—mainly low-paid workers—work 80 or 90 hours a week on some occasions. The directive will give them minimum standards and protection and the ability to negotiate with their company a sensible package in terms of their working hours and the right to paid holiday leave.