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Working Hours

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many individuals have opted out of the limit of 48 hours on the working week. [114567]

[holding answer 19 May 2003]: The Labour Force Survey indicates that there are around 3.8 million employees who work more than 48 hours per week.However, some of these employees will not be covered by the 48-hour weekly working limit in the Working Time Regulations. Those that are covered should have signed an 'opt out' agreement with their employer.There is no central record kept of how many workers in the UK who have signed such agreements.However, all employers must keep records of their workers who have signed an opt out, and must make this information available to the enforcement agencies on request.