News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

EU proposes changes to working time directive

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 30 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:761
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

    Some of the time that doctors spend on call in hospitals would not be considered part of their working week under draft legislation tabled by the European Commission. The proposed changes to the European Union's existing working time directive, which sets an average weekly maximum of 48 hours, have been largely prompted by two far reaching court judgments (BMJ 2000;321:918 and 2003;327:640).

    In both rulings the European Court of Justice stipulated that periods that health professionals spend at their place of employment had to be considered as working time, even if they were resting. The judges' verdicts had major implications for health services and …

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