DTI appoints O&M to controversial Working Time Directive task

- The Department of Trade and Industry has handed the £2 million task of promoting the controversial new Working Time Directive to Ogilvy & Mather.

- The Department of Trade and Industry has handed the £2 million task of promoting the controversial new Working Time Directive to Ogilvy & Mather.

New trade and industry secretary Peter Mandelson picked the agency personally just two days after the pitch, held on Monday between O&M and rival Central Office of Information roster agency, CDP.

O&M will promote the new regulations, which protect employees from working excessive hours, to both businesses and staff. Mandelson published the regulations just three days after his appointment as trade and industry secretary last month.

Under the new rules, employers will be forced to provide three weeks paid annual leave, rising to four weeks in 1999. There will also be a maximum working week of 48 hours, a statutory requirement for 11 consecutive hours rest in a 24-hour period and a limit of eight hours work in every 24 for night workers.

The Directive has proved particularly unpopular among the business community in the UK, where employees currently work some of the longest hours in Europe.

"The emphasis is on flexibility for both employers and workers. This light touch is also evident in enforcement - the first step ... will be to seek to resolve the matter through discussion," said Mandelson.



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