Oh, that blessed freedom to work in a sweatshop

BBC NEWS | UK | New rights for temporary workers

The government had rejected original EU proposals to grant equal rights from the first day of an agency contract, suggesting temps should have at least one year’s service to qualify.

Last month Mr Hutton accepted a national agreement between the CBI and TUC for parity after 12 weeks which unblocked the stalled EU negotiations.

In return for dropping their long-standing opposition, British ministers secured a firmer opt-out from the working time directive, which limits workers to 48 hours each week.

Mr Hutton said the deal retained crucial job market flexibility.

He said: “It provides a fair deal for workers without damaging Britain’s economic competitiveness or putting jobs at risk.

“Flexibility has been critical to our ability to create an extra three million jobs over the past decade. That flexibility has been preserved by ensuring workers can continue to have choice over their working hours in future years.”

In the US, that “give workers choice over their hours” crap died almost a century ago. But I guess when you have a hereditary aristocracy things move a little more slowly.

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