UK 'seeks working time rules deal' over treaty talks

 
Angela Merkel and David Cameron It has been reported Angela Merkel and David Cameron agreed the deal last week.

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Downing Street says Britain will use talks on the eurozone to try to limit EU curbs on the working week.

There have been reports David Cameron and Germany's Angela Merkel agreed a deal reviewing the working time directive in return for any eurozone-related treaty changes.

No 10 did not comment directly on those reports, but said the government "will look for opportunities" created by talks to further British interests.

The two leaders held talks on Friday.

The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, is due to report in December on options for improving the economic governance of the eurozone, and one option would be limited treaty change.

Treaty change would require all member countries of the EU to agree, and Britain views this as an opportunity to win changes in other areas, such as protection for the single market and the City of London.

Some reports suggest that a tentative deal was agreed during the prime minister's visit to Berlin, under which Germany would allow an examination of the impact of the directive, which limits the working week to 48 hours across Europe.

In return Mr Cameron reportedly agreed that the UK will sign up to German proposals for a "narrow" amendment to the Lisbon Treaty to put the eurozone's fiscal rules on a legal basis and introduce automatic sanctions for any of the 17 single currency states which breached them.

Britain already has an opt-out from the directive which allows individual workers to say that they do not wish to be limited to a 48-hour week.

But European Court of Justice rulings have had an impact on particular groups, such as doctors, oil rig workers and those whose job involves being "on call" for periods of time.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 65.

    I worked with teams that regularly signed the opt-out for the working time directive.
    I used to argue that it had falling asleep at the wheel written all over it and was proved right!
    Several members of the team reported falling asleep driving home after working a double shift; and one of them was riding a motorbike!

    Another backward step for the UK.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 64.

    Camerons out of touch with the econemy .People are going hungry more deaths will happen this year due to weather payments cuts.People on his own door step are having to rely on food banks FACT .When is he going to realise that people have had enough of his silly ideas that isnt going to get the econemy going at all

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 63.

    @PH73 Actually i do work over 48 hours a week on a low wage because the business wouldnt survive if i did not and jobs in this economy a hard to come by. So maybe you should stop making sweeping statements about peoples working lives with whom you have had no contact.....Go bother some other HYS before making sweeping statements about peoples working lives.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 62.

    The law as it stands even has no teeth. Although the WTD is part of H&S law, the HSE are not required to investigate reports of infringements. It falls to employees to go to Court, risking costs on what is in some ways a vaguely-drafted Statute. I know a firm that demands staff to be on 24 hr callout, for 290 days a year, as there is as yet no judge's ruling against this.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 61.

    cameron is a very clever con .Pitty he dont put his brains to good use instead of ripping britain off with a smile

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 60.

    "not a hour on the day or a penny off the wage"the tory's really go out off there way to mollycoddle the working man,all this kindness is going to kill us..

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 59.

    Why do the same people that moan about 'Europe telling us what to do' moan when one such rule (telling you how many hours a week you can work) is removed?

    Bet none of you work over 48 hours unless you want to anyway so its largely irrelevant!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 58.

    Everything is so sad at the moment and we are lumbered with such an amateurish bore as DC who is incapable of listening to the UK public

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 57.

    This is just a ruse so that he can say he kept his promise "to claw back powers" in the event of a treaty change. How lucky are we? We may get the chance to work ourselves to death and save the governmennt the cost of our pensions. Yippee!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 56.

    I suspect our opt out is under threat by ECJ rulings that could turn generic and that's why DC has chosen to address the underlying directive. I do think there are other more pressing issues such as immigration and the payment of social benefits. Maybe we need to engage Ms Streep for a time or at least get Dave a handbag to swing?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 55.

    So we are throwing money away on the CAP, destroying the sea with the CFP, funding politicians who make ours look like saints, etc.

    Why I am not surprised VacuDave goes for the one item that stops them working us to death?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 54.

    You can individually already opt out of this. Working longer hours does not make you more productive and it has a negative impact on family and personla life. Perfect examples of both can be seen in the US. So who is this change really being made for?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 53.

    Maybe we should suggest to the Germans that we all work 'Greek public servant hours'?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 52.

    I thought we had an opt out on this anyway. Every job I ever worked in gave me a form to fill in (if I wanted to) waiving the right to a 48 hour week. I've always signed, and just stayed until my job is done

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 51.

    DC gets a chance to use some leverage with the EU and what does he choose to do, dilute the protections in place for our own workforce. The electorate wants something a little more substantial I fear DC, and you continue to show a lack of appetite despite the recent bluster SHEEP in WOLFS clothing just about sums it up I fear.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 50.

    Why of all the EU policies, Cameron is looking to renegotiate the one that favour people most? Has he asked the people of the UK? Should there be an ePetition to stop Cameron in his reckless quest?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 49.

    44.cainsworld
    How typical that we seek to dilute one of the better EU directives whilst claiming we have no powers to alter others

    If anything we should be looking to reduce the 48 hour limits

    =>
    Yes! It would help solve unemployment and give those in work a life outside the workplace. The BBC reported on the sad lot of most working ppl.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8513783.stm

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 48.

    I thought it was Brussels where decisions were made....obviously not! It's Berlin! Germany are buying influence with bailing out these desperate 'PIIGS' countries! Lose these losers! They are the cancer of the Eurozone!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 47.

    Cameron is getting as bad as Labour! Why don't you ask the people before you act Dave?! "In return Mr Cameron reportedly agreed that the UK will sign up to German proposals for a "narrow" amendment to the Lisbon Treaty"....What a mistake signing up to the Lisbon Treaty! Let's leave the EU now! Germany are getting too big for their boots and are becoming bullies! Things are going to get messy!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 46.

    The question that should be asked is,

    'Why can Germany which works less hours than us, be, per head of population so much more productive'

    Do they just work harder?

    Are are we a nation of lazy bone idle wasters?

 

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