JANUARY 23, 2004
Fears about more EU legislation
The British motor racing industry seems to be constantly in opposition to measures which are being introduced by the European Commission. In addition to the disputes over competition law, tobacco and most recently the European Arrest Warrant, the sport is also worried about the effect of the Working Hours legislation which the Motorsport Industry Association says could cost jobs and hit productivity. The MIA is now urging all motorsport employers to "respond vigorously" to the European Commission's latest modifications to the Working Time Directive.
"Flexibility of working hours is absolutely critical in our customer-focused industry," says Chris Aylett, the MIA's chief
executive. The success of our industry is founded on the calibre of its specialised workforce and a long-standing ability to deliver on-time. Ours is a customer-driven industry and those global customers demand the utmost flexibility so that critical delivery deadlines can be met. No motorsport event is ever delayed by the failure to supply components - the race simply starts without you - and the customer is then lost. Any change in the current legislation will make UK motorsport businesses less competitive. This is one of the
toughest periods our industry has experienced, where we need to fight for every advantage."
The MIA is lobbying Britain's Department or Trade and Industry to argue that the legislation should maintain exemptions.
"It is crucial that all motorsport employers now make their views known directly so that the consultation process does not lead to a
change in UK law," said Aylett.
The Working Time legislation was introduced in Britain in 1998 but included the right for companies to opt out of the system. The new legislation which the EU wants will insist that everyone work no more than 35 hours per week. The British law currently allows for 48-hour working weeks.
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