O&M to push DTI time directive

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 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

Europe.



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

legislation.



’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.



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