“The opt-out means people can work more than 48 hours a week if they wish.

“My 23 years of experience as a company financial director mean I understand the effect of this directive.

“It will be another nail in the coffin for small businesses. In today’s economic climate, businesses need freedom to adapt their working methods.

“If we lose the opt-out clause it will result in many companies fighting to keep afloat.”

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