§ Mr. Tynan
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many employees in his Department have(a) signed a formal opt out from and (b) are exempt from the Working Time Directive; and how many employees in 1285W his Department have recorded hours, including any accruing on a flexitime basis, in excess of the maximum allowed under the Working Time Directive in the last month for which figures are available. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
Thirty employees in the Department have signed an "opt-out" agreement under the working time regulations. None of the Department's1286W employees are exempt from the working time regulations. The Department is aware of the particular business areas where staff regularly work close to or surpass the forty-eight hours per week limit and keeps this under review.
The Department is committed to reducing the number of employees who are required to work in excess of forty-eight hours per week to the absolute minimum.