RCN responds on the latest review of the European Working Time Directive
In March 2010, the European Commission issued a 'first-phase' consultation on reviewing the current legislation on working time rules issued to EU-level social partners of workers' and employers' representatives .
The RCN's response, published in May 2010 response argued that phasing out the opt-out clause, which was in place in the UK at the time, was a requirement on the grounds of health and safety. We provided evidence from a number of studies of the adverse impact of long working hours on the health and wellbeing for nursing staff. We emphasised that there was a pressing need to amend the existing Directive which has led to confusion and individual interpretation by employers, particularly those with low trade union density. Read the RCN response to the first-phase consultation on reviewing the Working Time Directive (PDF 37.7KB) [see how to access PDF files].
The RCN is a member of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), and fed into a collective response which EPSU submitted in its role as one of the EU-level social partners.
Read the RCN's 2008 briefing on Council Political Agreement on Revision of European Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) (PDF 48KB) [see how to access PDF files].