Working Time Directive - 2nd-phase Consultation (Communication)

The Commission proposes two options for reviewing the Working Time Directive and invites the social partners to express whether and which issues they would wish to negotiate. The Commission intends to revise at least the provisions on on-call time and compensatory rest for on-call time (option 1). These revisions are anyway required by the ECJ’s ruling. The second option provides for a comprehensive revision of the Working Time Directive. The Commission aspires to increase flexibility in working time. Moreover, rules on the “work-life balance”, the “opt-out”, paid annual leave and individual sector-specific issues are to be reviewed.


Limiting the introduction of new measures to changes required by legislation only is too short-sighted. In order to improve compatibility in the EU, it is essential to establish a high degree of flexibility to overcome economic imbalances between Member States and to address future economic crisis. In particular, this includes the possibility for social partners to derogate from statutory requirements where necessary and desired. However, such possibilities should not be limited to EU-wide sector-related agreements but also include in-house and regional derogations.