A conciliation meeting in Brussels on whether to maintain an opt-out from the Working Time Directive ended in stalemate overnight. The UK is one of 15 countries that use the opt-out. 

Commenting, Kieran O’Keeffe, Head of European Representation at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:  

"It would be foolish to try and end the working time opt-out, especially during a painful recession. It provides the essential flexibility that many businesses and employees are relying on to get through this downturn. 

“Employees should have the right to work longer hours and put more money in their pockets if that’s what they choose. Businesses should also have the right to offer more hours if that’s what it takes to be competitive.”