Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

5th January 2006

London's Green MEP Warns Long Hours May Cause London's Workforce Its Health

As the latest TUC report reveals that Londoners work the longest hours in the UK Jean Lambert, London's Green MEP has called for better regulations to ensure our working lives do not cost us our health.

Londoners put in more than 8 hours unpaid overtime every week and with long hours contributing to ill health such as high blood pressure and diabetes it is essential that this is prevented. Last year a major survey on the relationship between overtime and work place injuries found that those who work extra hours are 61% more likely to be injured on the job than those who do not.

Jean Lambert believes tighter regulations would promote a happier, more secure workforce across the UK; "Long working hours are costly for the individual and the employer because of illness and time off. Self-reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety is currently costing Britain nearly thirteen million reported lost working days a year.

"People deserve fair pay for the work they do and should not have to work unhealthy, long hours simply to make ends meet. Currently in the UK employees can sign an agreement to work longer hours but research has proven that this is often exploited as clearly shown in the TUC's findings. By removing the opt-out from UK working time rules, we can create a happier, more efficient work force through reduced turnover, time off and work related injury."


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.