1.23. The CBI informed the Committee that the Netherlands had created greater flexibility in interpreting the “autonomous persons” excluded from the directive, since anyone earning more than three times the national minimum wage has created greater flexibility. (Q 68) The ETUC supports the flexible application of working time provisions through collective bargaining. But the Council`s proposal, far from reinforcing restrictions on the application of the opt-out, could even expand its use. It would put pressure on unions to abolish the maximum 48-hour working hours, give employers a lazy way out of bargaining for more sustainable flexibility in working time, and even encourage employers to refuse collective bargaining or union recognition. The introduction of a maximum working week of 60 hours or even 65 hours would make this limitation of working time acceptable in the future! Employers should inform workers in a timely manner of any changes to their work schedules; Workers should have the right to request a change in their working time and employers should be required to review these applications fairly and reject them only with strong motivations. The Commission was legally obliged to review these two exemptions within seven years of the transposition of the directive in November 2003. Since then, and more than 15 years after its adoption, the ETUC has called for a courageous step towards the abolition of individual opt-out, in particular, in line with the obligation to limit the maximum working hours for all EU workers. The return to long and unhealthy hours and a traditional division of labour between women and men will hinder women`s full participation in the labour market and will have a negative impact on young parents` decision to combine labour market participation with family education. This will have a negative impact on economic growth and productivity. The worker`s individual agreement with the employer remains an obligation, but new conditions are proposed to reduce the possibility of abuse: ecSJ rulings are clear and binding and cannot be set aside for economic reasons or to solve practical problems.