News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

MEPs vote to end right of individuals to opt out of 48 hour week

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 19 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1168
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

    The European parliament has voted overwhelmingly to end the possibility of individuals opting out of the maximum 48 hour week and has decided that the whole time that employees spend on call should be counted as working hours.

    The two key amendments to the European Union's existing working time directive fundamentally alter the proposal the EU commission had tabled last year.

    While critical of the opt-out because it believed it was being abused, the commission had stopped short of calling for its abolition. It had also proposed creating two types of on-call time—active and inactive—with the latter not counting towards …

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