Support grows for retaining the opt-out to the 48 hour week

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 09 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1346
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

Moves by the European Union to establish a clear legal definition for active and inactive on-call time for medical staff and other essential services, and to abolish the opt-out from the 48 hour maximum working week, have become entangled in the wider political debate on the future of the 25 member bloc's economic policy.

Social affairs and health ministers were unable to reach agreement on the latest proposed changes to the EU's working time directive last week. Some argued that its flexibility was essential …

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