§ Miss McIntosh:
To ask the Minister for Women what recent assessment she has made of the implications of the Working Time Directive for women's employment. 
§ Ms Hewitt:
In general, as the working time regulations benefit both men and women, studies of the impact of the regulation covers all those who are affected. However, my Department has looked at women's employment since the introduction of the regulations in October 1998. Full-time employment for women grew by 5.7 per cent. from July—September 1998 to July—September 2003 while the average actual hours of full-time women in employment fell by 0.4 hours per week over the same period (from 34.4 hours per week in July—September 1998 to 34.0 hours per week in July-September 2003).