Intended for healthcare professionals


Inactive time spent on call could be excluded from 48 hour week

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 12 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1333
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

Pan-European legislation to introduce a maximum 48 hour working week moved a step closer this week after EU employment ministers reached a political agreement in Luxembourg.

The agreement would enable the United Kingdom to retain its opt-out, allowing employees to work more than the legal maximum. But this will only operate under some conditions to prevent employers abusing the flexibility.

More controversially for the medical profession and key emergency personnel, the ministers agreed to split on-call time at an individual’s place of employment into two categories. “Active” time at work would …

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