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Labour MEPs let down UK on Working Time says Liz Lynne MEP

December 17, 2008 12:00 AM

Liz Lynne MEP Shadow Rapporteur for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe Group, speaking after the vote on the working time directive today said:

"The UK Government should have been able to rely on all their own MEPs to support them in the retention of the Opt Out but that was not the case.

"For months now the Government have had to work with me on this as they couldn't get the support of their own party.

"This result is a bitter blow for businesses and workers alike. I have always argued that the opt out should be retained so long as it is truly voluntary. Workers should be allowed to earn overtime if they wish to. Scrapping the opt would push people into illegal work where they are not be covered by Health and Safety legislation including the dangerous machinery directive.

"Let us hope that when we go into discussions with the Council of Ministers on this that they will not give in to the Parliament's view and maintain the opt out."

"As far as on call time is concerned it should all be classed as working time. It is unfair to count time a doctor spends on call in an on call room in hospital for instance in any other way but as working time. I am delighted that the Parliament has voted in this way. I now hope that the Council will look at this again. "