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Rescue Services: Working Hours

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the ending of the UK's Working Time Directive opt-out on the services supplied by volunteer coastguards. (270112)

[holding answer 22 April 2009]: The UK Government recognise that losing the individual's right to opt-out of the 48-hour working week as set by the Working Time Directive, would have a detrimental effect on many workers, across various sectors. We therefore remain firmly of the view that this right should remain and along with many other member states continue to fight for its retention as this dossier progresses through the European negotiation process.

My officials are in touch with their counterparts in the Department for Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to ensure that the specific concerns of volunteer coastguards are understood.