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Plans to update European working time legislation in disarray

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 19 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a3080
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

    The possibility of Britain opting out of European Union rules on weekly working hours and the status of doctors’ on-call hours hangs in the balance after the European Parliament, on 17 December, decisively rejected a proposal to update the existing legislation.

    The decision effectively undermined the stance EU governments took earlier this year when they agreed that the opt out could stay indefinitely. They had also endorsed the new concept of inactive on-call time, whereby the hours doctors, nurses, and other emergency staff spend on standby at their place of work do not count towards …

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