The Scottish Government and the STUC have issued a joint call to the UK Government to rule out the downgrading of employment protections enshrined in the Working Time Directive.
Reports suggest that the UK Government has asked the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to work up a package of deregulatory measures following the UK’s final departure from the European Union. These are understood to include abandoning the commitment to the EU Working Time Directive which lays down a maximum 48-hour working week and guarantees the statutory right to work breaks.
STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“We are alarmed, if unsurprised, by reports of early attempts to downgrade workers’ rights through amending the commitment to the EU Working Time Directive. We will vigorously oppose any attempt to dilute existing rights and are pleased that the Scottish Government, in line with its commitment to Fair Work, supports us in this.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“As we respond to the most immediate threats to Scotland’s economy - Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic – we must work in partnership with trade unions to ensure health and wellbeing remains at the heart of Scotland’s workforce.
“The Scottish Government is committed to Fair Work, and protecting and enhancing the rights of our workers. In partnership with the STUC and its affiliated unions we will continue to challenge the UK Government to avoid a race to the bottom when it comes to pay and conditions.”