Feature

What Brexit means for the European Working Time Directive

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3748 (Published 07 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i3748
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers

What is the future of European legislation enacted in the UK? Abi Rimmer considers what might happen to working time rules if the UK left the EU

For doctors, restrictions on working hours have been one of the most contentious aspects of laws introduced in the United Kingdom to comply with European Union directives. With uncertainty after the Brexit vote over whether European legislation would continue to apply in the UK, a key question is whether doctors working in the UK will continue to be subject to the European Working Time Directive (EWTD).

Elisabetta Zanon, director of the NHS European Office, part of the NHS Confederation, says that if the UK decides to discontinue membership of the EU but retains access to the single market then the UK Working Time Regulations, which implemented the European directive into UK law, will still apply.

“If we are no longer a …

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