Career Focus


BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 30 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:S3a-7145

The regulations that bring the EU Working Time Directive into UK law make for some interesting reading (IDS Brief 1998;612:7-16). Working time is defined as “any period during which [the worker] is working, at his employer's disposal and carrying out his activity or duties.” Defining on call is less easy so the courts will decide. The 48 hour maximum working week is to be averaged over a 17 week period: greater weekly hours will be permitted providing that each worker has at least 11 consecutive hours' rest in each 24 hour period. Oddly, two groups of workers in which fatigue may have fatal consequences Ñ doctors in training and transport workers Ñ remain specifically exempt from the regulations.

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