The Department of Trade and Industry has handed the pounds 2
million task of promoting the controversial new Working Time Directive
to Ogilvy & Mather.
The new Trade and Industry Secretary, Peter Mandelson, picked the agency
personally just two days after the pitch, held on Monday between O&M and
its 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, to all staff with a
contract of employment. The rules will also apply to agency and
temporary workers and freelancers.
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-hour period for night workers.
The directive has proved unpopular among the business community in the
UK, where employees currently work some of the longest hours in
The DTI’s speedy action will not please the Confederation of British
Industry, which has warned that many companies will be unable to meet
the 1 October deadline.
The CBI is lobbying for this to be postponed to 1 January 1999 and
argues that employers have not had enough time to prepare for the new
’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,’ Mandelson said.