Written Answers. - Organisation of Working Time.

Seán Haughey

Question:

581 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment the plans, if any, he has to introduce legislation restricting the working week to 48 hours; if so, if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of people employed by security firms in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16310/96]

In recent months I have received representations from the security industry and several meetings and consultations have been held with the two sides of the industry on the implementation of the EU Directive 93/104/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time. Although the main provisions of the directive might appear to be restrictive in some employment circumstances, such as those prevailing in the security industry, there is an inbuilt flexibility for the application of most of its provisions.

Article 6 of the directive provides that the average weekly working time of employees should not exceed 48 hours. The directive allows for weekly working hours to be averaged over a period four months or, in particular circumstances, over a period of 12 months by agreement between the two sides of industry. I hope to publish a Bill to give effect to the provisions of the directive in the near future.