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Working Time


Long working hours – bad for health, bad for safety, bad for work-life balance, bad for gender equality, bad for productivity

With two new major studies under way, the European Commission is again working on a review of the Working Time Directive. The concern for trade unions is that this important piece of health and safety legislation will be watered down, allowing the spread of longer working hours across the European economy with the many negative effects that this entails. Health First and foremost, the control of working time is a question of health and safety. The impact assessment carried out for the (...)

European Commission survey on Working Time Directive

The European Commission is undertaking a study of the implementation of the Working Time Directive. It is required to do this every five years and has contacted all Member States to ask them about transposition and implementation of the directive, as well as monitoring and enforcement. The Commission must also ensure that the views of the social partners are taken into account and it sent letters to national trade union confederations and employer organisations on 4 July (see below). EPSU (...)

EPSU consults its affiliates over the mandate on Working time

(26 October 2011) The ETUC and its affiliates are consulting on the mandate of the ETUC concerning the negotiations on changes to the Working time directive. EPSU has sent out the mandate to the Executive Committee members requesting a response 3 November. The Executive Committee will consider this during its meeting 8-9 November. EPSU has adopted several positions on the Working Time Directive. We have also been actively engaged with the European Parliament. For a overview of our work (...)

Commission urged to take account of latest research on working time

(2 March 2011) EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, sent a clear message to the European Commission calling for the protection provided by the Working Time Directive to be upheld and urging the Commission to take more account of the research it specifically commissioned. EPSU general secretary Carola Fischbach-Pyttel said: “It is disappointing that the Commission’s Communication seems to ignore many of the findings of the report by the Deloitte consultancy. The (...)

Opt-out and on-call time remain fundamental issues in working time debate

(Brussels 21 February ) Representatives of 23 EPSU affiliates from 12 countries met on Friday 18 February to discuss the second phase of the European Commission’s consultation over the Working Time Directive. The meeting was organized to assist EPSU in preparing its response to the European Commission. The meeting was clear on a number of fundamental points. Firstly, the European Commission’s proposals to amend the Directive came at a time of unprecedented pressure on the public services (...)

Meeting on the Review of the Working Time Directive

Emerging from the crisis - fair pay and employment in the public services Room B, ITUH, Brussels 18 February 2011, 10.30-15.30 We are inviting affiliates to send representatives to a meeting to discuss EPSU’s response to the second phase consultation on the Working Time Directive. The meeting would also debate EPSU strategy in response to the potential proposals from the Commission to amend the Directive or call on the social partners, particularly in health, social and emergency (...)

Working Time Meeting 18 February 2011

EPSU argues that end of individual opt-out has to be part of working time review

(22 December 2010) Around 12% of the EU workforce - over 28 million people - still work more than 48 hours a week, according to the fifth European Working Conditions Survey*. This is down from 15% in 2000 but marks very slow progress and reflects the fundamental weakness at the heart of the Working Time Directive - the individual opt-out. Yesterday the European Commission launched a second phase review of the Working Time Directive. The consultation suggests one way forward is to (...)

ETUC Conference and awards for best practice

The ETUC is organising a conference on working time in Brussels on 7 and 8 February 2011. A key part of the conference will be the presentation of awards to the trade unions and employers who have managed to negotiate positive and innovative policies around working time. The ETUC is encouraging all its affiliates to ensure that there is at least one nomination from each member country of the ETUC. The nominated cases will be assessed by a panel composed of trade union leaders and (...)

EPSU Response to the Commission’s Communication on Reviewing the Working Time Directive

(8 June 2010) EPSU final response to the European Commission’s Communication on Working Time, as endorsed by the Executive Committee on 28 May, highlights: latest research exposing the health and safety risks of long working hours for doctors and patients intensification of work lengthening of working careers the need for the Working Time Directive to be tightened up in specific areas such as definition of autonomous workers, bogus self-employment and the fact that it should cover (...)

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