What to do with the Working Time Directive?

Yet again the EU Commission is trying to revise the Working Time Directive. For years, business has had to live with the case law of the European Court of Justice relating to on-call duty. These blanket rulings meet the needs of only a small minority of companies. cep has been grappling with the problem of the Working Time Directive.


Following several judgements by the ECJ, the existing Working Time Directive has become obsolete, particularly with regard to on-call duty. The EU Commission’s previous attempts at revision have all failed; the social partners at European level have also been unable to agree on how to regulate on-call duty and future reform seems unrealistic. In addition, EU rules on the remuneration of on-call duty are in breach of the principle of subsidiarity. The Working Time Directive should therefore be abolished.