§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his oral answer of 21 October 1998,Official Report, column 1287, if he will estimate the year on year cost of the Working Time Directive to the Rover Group. 
§ Mr. Ian McCartney
[holding answer 26 October 1998]: No specific estimate has been made of the costs to individual sectors or companies. An assessment of costs for the whole of British industry is held in the Library of the House.
Any cost of implementing the Regulations needs to be compared with the benefits of helping to combat stress and absenteeism by ensuring workers receive proper rest and so reducing costs to industry. The CBI estimate up to £25 billion was lost in 1996 due to absenteeism. The London School of Economics also estimates that current staff turnover levels cost employers up to £1.8 billion.