BriefingBMJ 1998; 317 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7170.3a (Published 21 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:S3a-7170
Detailed guidance about compliance with the EU working time directive is starting to appear. Although the headline states that no one should work more than a 48 hour week, there are a multitude of exceptions, including junior doctors but not consultants. An article in IDS Brief (1998;624:14-6) explains that the 48 hour limit is to be averaged over rolling 17 week periods, employees may opt out, and workers whose working time is unmeasured (for example, freelances or very senior managers) may be excluded. The onus is on employers to keep the necessary records, and to adjust work as necessary to ensure compliance.