01/19/2004

European Commission launches consultation on working time

The European Commission is calling for all interested parties to contribute to
a consultation on working time, following a report on the workings of current
EU legislation in this area. The report focuses on the issue of the so-called
"opt-out", which allows individuals to waive their rights under the directive,
and the definition and calculation of working time. As a result of recent
European Court of Justice rulings, more Member States are turning to use of the
opt-out. The Commission is consulting on how the directive could be revised in
the future.

The Working Time directive plays a vital role in protecting the health and
safety of workers from the effects of working excessively long hours, having
inadequate rest and disruptive work patterns. It can also contribute to
improved productivity and a better reconciliation of work and family life.

The Commission document has three aims:

- Analysis of the implementation of the opt-out and derogations to the period
over which working time is calculated ("reference period").

- Analysis of the impact of recent case law concerning the definition of
working time and the qualification of time spent "on-call" - whether it should
be "working time" or "rest period".

- Consultation of interested parties on possible future modification of the
Directive.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work