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This assessment considers the potential costs to business from implementation of the 2001 Directive on Summer Time Arrangements. Any costs are likely to be small, as the arrangements provided for in the Directive are broadly the same as those currently provided for in the UK.
The purpose of the Directive is to prescribe the start and end dates of summer time in all European member states as being the last Sundays in March and October respectively. Additionally, the Directive provides that these dates should apply indefinitely.
Current UK legislation makes provision that when summer time commences on Easter Sunday the clock change is brought forward by one week. This practice will cease to be available under the Directive. The aim of this Directive is to meet calls from business for certainty as to the summer time dates.
The Government considers the change made under this Directive a positive benefit to business as it gives certainty to the summer time dates and aids the business planning process. Compliance with the Directive is a UK Treaty obligation.
Certainty of the summer time dates will be a positive benefit to business and will aid business planning, as there will no longer be any variation on the beginning of summer time from one year to the next. The change made under the Directive will benefit the general public in a similar manner.
The costs of implementing the Directive will be small as the summer time period provided for is largely the same as is currently provided for in the UK. However, the cessation of the variability in the event of summer time coinciding with Easter Sunday may have minor cost implications for IT systems which automatically adapt to summer time clock changes. These costs are difficult to quantify, but are likely to be very small.
Diary and organiser manufacturers are aware of the changes outlined under the Directive and will therefore not incur costs from summer time changes in 2002.