EEC Commission to axe UK Working Time Opt-out

The European Commission will publish on 22nd September 2004 it’s long awaited proposals for amending the existing Working Time Directive. Drafts copies of the report currently circulating the Commission kick into touch the Britain’s opt-out. It seems that the representations made by British companies for the need for a flexible employment market have gone unheeded with the powerful French/German lobbies winning the argument. Key points of the new legislation are

  • New requirement to maintain timekeeping hours even when employees opt-out
  • Unions can veto accepting working weeks of longer than 48 hours
  • Opt-out agreements cannot be signed at the same time as employment contracts
  • Employers must regularly (at least once a year) review an employees opt-out agreement to see if they still agree

The CBI say the new legislation “…. is an administrative minefield that could land companies in court if they get it wrong” , so with the introduction of the full Working Time Directive it is essential that all employers accurately record employee hours on-site and do the necessary Working Time calculations to stay within the law. In practice, you’ll need a computerised Time & Attendance system able to AUTOMATICALLY do the Working Time calculations and a Personnel system to check you are doing the reviews (and tell you when you are not). Fortunately, Tensor’s WinTAlite does all this.

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