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Working Time

Studies link long hours to higher risk of strokes

(20 August 2015) A major review of research covering over 600,000 men and women concludes that longer working hours increase the risk of strokes compared to standard working hours. The analysis of 25 published and unpublished research concluded that individuals who work 55 hours or more per week have a 1·3-times higher risk of incident of strokes than those working standard hours (35-40 hours a week. The research appears in the latest issue of the British medical journal The Lancet and the (...)

Report on health sector highlights risks of long working hours

(12 November 2014) The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has just published a report on the healthcare sector that highlights the negative impact of long working hours. The report, Current and emerging issues in the healthcare sector, including home and community care, notes that: "Working time is hugely important for the healthcare sector across Europe because of the implications of long working hours for the occupational safety and health of staff, for patient (...)

EPSU and ETUC letters to Commission raise concerns over working time studies

(7 November 2014) EPSU has written to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen to raise concerns over two studies on working time that are currently underway. The studies, one cross-sectoral and the other focusing on the public health service, were commissioned by the outgoing Commission and EPSU had already been in contact with former President Barroso and former Employment Commissioner Andor. The EPSU letters reflect very much the (...)

Working Time Meeting Report, Background Note and Survey

(5 September) EPSU organised a meeting for affiliates on working time on 4 September. This discussed the latest developments including the studies being carried out for the Commission and the likely content of any proposals that the Commission is planning to bring forward in 2015. There is a report of the meeting below along with a background note which reviews the situation since the end of the negotiations in 2012 and examines the potential next steps. Also below (in 11 languages) is an (...)

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

(2 September 2014) 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 (...)

European Commission survey on Working Time Directive

(16 July 2014) 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 (...)

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 (...)

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