Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

7th September 2006



UK Green MEP Jean Lambert has today welcomed the European Court of Justice ruling that the UK Government are breaking the law by not forcing employers to give staff rest breaks between shifts.

Jean, who is Green MEP for London the region where people work some of the most excessive hours, has continued to campaign against the current opt-out in the Working Time Directive in the UK. Today Jean commented; "Part of the British Government's argument to keep the opt-out in the Working Time Directive is that they will improve existing rules and regulations to ensure our workforce is safe and productive. Today's ruling however really proves that they have failed to implement the directive properly in ensuring that these vital breaks are taken.

"The Government has failed on this in the past and simply can't deliver what they promise so lets not have any more arguments about the opt-out and remove it once and for all.

"Not only do we need to care for employees physical health but our mental health must be protected as well. Rest breaks are critical to our working lives, not only for our health but our work life balance as well. Missing breaks should be the exception to our daily lives.

"We cant have a culture that says you cant rest and I now look forward to hearing how the British Government is going to fulfil its responsibilities in this area."


For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812

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.