The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has spoken out in favour of the UK’s opt out of the European Union (EU) working time directive.

According to Louise Morgan, senior policy adviser in the employer and employee relations team at the CBI, the move means that staff have kept the right to choose their own working hours.

In addition, it means that firms have the flexibility to respond to peaks in demand, she added.

Commenting on the decision, Ms Morgan said: "Although there are clearly still restrictions in place – the individual part opt-out in the first four weeks of a job and the 60 hour cap – our members generally agree that it is a price worth paying."

The directive is an EU initiative designed to protect workers from employer exploitation.

It includes regulations on issues such as how long staff work for, how many breaks they have and how much holiday they are entitled to.