""It would become unlawful to put a clause into a contract which makes a person opt out of this," he said. "But if someone wanted to work longer, they could. They just couldn't be required to.""
And there's the crux of the problem right there, it's not currently really an opt-out because many employers put it in your contract, so you either accept the job and sign the contract, simultaneously accepting the opt-out or you don't take the job. But if you're happy in your job you're still not safe, because you see employers have in many places been changing people's contracts to slip it in and you can either accept the new contract or be made redundant.
I don't have a problem with the opt-out, I have a problem with it's current implementation and the above quote is worrying- the fact he's suggesting that a supposed opt-out can be tied to your contract being removed is a bad thing? Surely his last sentence there, which describes the current situation- that you can be required to even though it's supposedly optional is evidence enough that it's currently not really an opt-out and hence not really optional if you value your job?
"Flanagan also said that the working week is measured over such a long period that very few jobs would actually currently count as lasting longer than 48 hours in a week."
Speak for yourself mate, some of us haven't had much choice at our jobs. Luckily my current employer is much better and doesn't expect overtime unless it's really really needed, which has yet to happen to me.
""The measurement is over a 17-week period. People are talking as if this affects many people, but there are not that many jobs where you do those hours over such a long period," he said."
Really? That's funny coming from a law firm that deals with IT issues because IT is one of the places you'll find plenty of people stuck in this scenario. But then, maybe they don't deal with the guys actually doing the work and just handle big business legal stuff.
Once again it's the EU that we're having to depend on to protect us from our own government just as we did with the DNA database, just as we have with many other issues relating to personal freedoms, safety and health. God only knows why our nation has so many Europhobes when they simultaneously agree with Europe. I too used to be a Europhobe but in recent years I've come to the realisation that the EU actually does a better job of governing us than our own government does- you only have to look at the strengthening euro vs. the weakening pound to see this extends even into the economy. So here's the deal Europhobes, you have two choices- either stop voting in the same idiots (Labour and Conservatives) and then whine about their incompetence or stop whining about the EU when it's doing a better job of running the country than the very people you elected. Compared to British parliament over the last few years, the EU is a dream.