Working time is one of the key issues for the European trade union movement.
At European level, a legal framework for working time, to safeguard occupational health and safety, is established by the Working Time Directive. It constituted an important piece of European legislation, by setting the average maximum working week at 48 hours, as well as determining rest periods, night work and the right to paid annual leave.
The ETUC position on the Working Time Directive:
- end the individual opt-out from the 48-hour limit on weekly working time;
- keep the current reference periods in place;
- codify the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) jurisprudence, especially regarding on-call time in the workplace;
- further limit derogations for autonomous workers;
- confirm that the Directive applies per worker, and to all workers.
The ETUC has repeatedly insisted that the WTD, as well as the case law of the CJEU, is not properly transposed and enforced in some EU Member States.