HL Deb 16 December 1991 vol 533 cc43-4WA
Lord McCarthy

asked Her Majesty's Government:

For details of the assumptions and calculations supporting government estimates of the consequences of EC draft directives arising from the Social Action Programme, for instance those contained in the statement of Lord Caithness (H.L. Deb., 25th November 1991, col. 1266) and the Secretary of State for Employment (H.L. Deb., 26th November 1991, col. 762).

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Employment (Viscount Ullswater)

Details of the assumptions and calculations supporting the Government's estimates of the costs to employers of directives arising from the EC Social Action Programme have already been published.

A memorandum by the department on the costs to the UK of the draft directives on Part-time and Temporary Work and the draft directive on Working Time was published in the report by the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities on Part-Time and Temporary Employment [Session 1990/91, 2nd Report, pp. 33–45].

Recent amendments to the draft directive on Working Time, particularly the proposal for a maximum working week of 48 hours, have significantly increased its cost. We now estimate the cost to employers of compliance with the draft directive to be £5 billion under present conditions.

I will place a note setting out the details of this calculation in the Libraries of both Houses.