Feeds

British workaholics win EU opt out deal

Agency staff granted more equal rights

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The British government today secured landmark European Union agreements that will allow UK citizens to work more than 48 hours a week, and bring temp workers into line with permanent staff.

The compromise deal allows Blighty to opt out from the 1993 EU law on the Working Time directive, which sets the maximum length of the working week at 48 hours.

It’s a move that flies in the face of labour market rules in other EU countries and follows four years of bitter dispute between French and British-led camps on workers’ rights.

"This agreement means that people remain free to earn overtime and businesses can cope during busy times,” said business secretary John Hutton. "Securing the right for people to work longer if they choose to do so is hugely valuable to the British economy.”

The deal follows the UK.gov’s decision, backed by the CBI and the Trade Union Congress, in May to give temporary agency workers the same rights as permanent ones after 12 weeks on the job.

That was a national agreement inked between government, unions, and employer's groups after many months of Britain flatly rejecting original EU proposals that pushed for equal rights for temp workers from day one.

Last month the IT staffing industry howled in protest at the proposed employment legislation overhaul, claiming such an agreement would hamstring smaller firms.

Just last week the Federation of Small Businesses slammed government plans to give agency workers similar rights to full-time staff and described such a deal as being potentially "disastrous" for the UK economy.

Hutton had previously argued that bringing an estimated 1.4 million UK agency workers onto a level playing field with permanent staff over equal pay and holiday entitlement would cost jobs and make workers less competitive.

But today he said the EU’s Agency Worker directive "will give a fair deal for agency workers and prevent unfair undercutting of permanent staff while retaining important flexibility for businesses to hire staff for short-term seasonal contracts or key busy times." ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.