ETUC Executive Committee 8 July 2009: declaration on the Working Time Directive

Brussels, 08/07/2009

The European trade Union confederation (ETUC) Executive Committee agrees that there should be a period of reflection before any future revision of the directive.

However, concerning the current directive, the ETUC Executive Committee strongly calls for action to be taken to ensure that the Directive is being properly and fully implemented.

Specifically, the ETUC calls on the European Commission to initiate infringement proceedings against Member States who are significantly failing to implement the working time directive.

The European Commission has already drafted infringement notices but refrained from sending them due to the ongoing conciliation procedure. This period is now over. The Commission should fulfil its responsibility, as guardian of the treaties, and to ensure the full implementation of existing legislative texts.

The ETUC reiterates its position that future steps for a revision of the directive must include an end to the individual opt out, and full recognition of on-call time in the work place as working time as well as compensatory rest taken immediately after periods of time spent on duty in accordance with the decisions of the European Court of Justice.

In this respect, the ETUC recalls the position of the European Parliament and calls for this absolute majority vote of 17 December 2008 to be respected.

In conclusion, the ETUC Executive Committee reiterates its commitment to the full implementation of the working time directive as a vital instrument to protect the health and safety of European workers and of those with whom they come into contact.