Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

11th January 2006

 

'EU REST BREAKS ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR 999 FAILURE' DEMANDS GREEN MEP


Euro-MP Jean Lambert has today hit back at claims that an ambulance crews 30 minute break, as laid out in the European Working Time Directive, caused the death of a 21 year old man in Tottenham, London.

Jean, who has is a member of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee and last year released her report 'I must work harder? Britain and the Working Time Directive', today said; "The Working Time Directive is in place to ensure that those people in particularly stressful jobs get the rest breaks they deserve and in the case of ambulance crews ensure they do not make vital medical mistakes so often bought on by tiredness.

"Indirect causes of long hours, such as tiredness on the roads, are particularly damaging with symptoms of stress and fatigue often worse than being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We do however have to put saving lives before having a cup of tea. "

London's Green MEP Jean Lambert continued, "There is nothing in the Working Time Directive that says employers and their staff can not modify the terms and conditions to suit the career they are in. The issue here is not to undermine the Directive but to ask why there were not enough ambulance crews avaliable to cover all breaks and emergencies that day."

ENDS

For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812
email: media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk
www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk

Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.