Thursday March 22, 2018
For the road ahead

Ministers' plot could slash paid holidays for 7 million workers


A ministerial plot to scrap the Working Time Directive in the UK reported today could deny paid holidays to millions of workers, and make long working weeks the norm, the TUC has said.

The Sunday Times and Sun both report plans by ministers - including Michael Gove and Boris Johnson - to scrap the Working Time Directive after Brexit.

Losing the protections of the directive means that:

  • 7 million workers could lose rights to paid holidays - 4.7 million of them women, and many on zero-hours or part-time contracts
  • Even more workers could be forced by bosses to work weeks longer than 48 hours.
  • Workers could lose the right to lunch and rest breaks.
  • Night workers could lose some health and safety protections.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:

"This is a straight-up attack on our rights at work. Millions could lose their paid holidays, and be forced to work ridiculously long hours.

"The Working Time Directive gave nearly five million women paid holidays for the first time. No-one voted for Brexit to lose out on holidays, or to hand power over to bad bosses.

"The Prime Minister promised that our working rights would be protected after Brexit. Now we will see if she can keep her word, or if she is a hostage to extremists in her own cabinet."



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