HC Deb 01 February 1999 vol 324 cc511-2W
Mr. Boswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of proposals to extend the Working Time Directive to the United Kingdom sector of the Continental Shelf in respect of(a) cost and (b) safety; and if he will make a statement. [68368]

Mr. Ian McCartney

On 18 November, the European Commission proposed to extend the Working Time Directive to the excluded sectors. This includes an estimated 20,000 offshore workers in the UK. We are considering the proposals carefully, and will seek to ensure they are balanced, sensible and do not adversely affect the competitiveness or the safety requirements of the industries concerned.

Due to difficulty in identifying workers within the excluded sectors the cost of applying the Working Time Directive to offshore workers was covered in the original assessment. A copy of this assessment has been placed in the House of Commons Library.