Working Time - Opt outs to be abolished- loop hole in counting hours
European Parliament sub committee
Working time Directive: Results of the vote of the Employment Committee - 20 April 2005
CPME publication date: Friday, April 22, 2005
The vote on the report of the Employment committee took place on the 20th of April 2005.
Most of the compromise amendments were adopted. The results are as follows:
The definition of on call time has been completed: it covers the time available at the work place or at other workplace decided by his employer in order to take up habitual work and/or certain activities and tasks associated with being on duty, in accordance with national laws and/or practice in the Member State concerned.
The definition of inactive part of on call time is maintained and completed. It is defined as a period during which the worker is on call but is not performing habitual work or any activities or tasks associated with being on duty, in accordance with national laws and/or practice in the Member State concerned.
Even if the entire period of on call time shall be regarded as working time, the report introduces the possibility to calculate differently inactive parts of on call time in order to comply with the maximum weekly average of working time. This specific manner of calculation has to be decided either by collective agreements or by laws/regulations.
Concerning the opt-out, it will be phased out but the way to calculate its end is changed: it should be 36 months after the entry into force of the Directive.
The reference period has been extended up to 12 months but under certain guarantees. The compensatory rests should be granted immediately after periods of time spent on duty, pursuant to the terms laid down in the relevant law, collective agreements or other agreements between the two sides of industry.
The resolution was adopted by 30 votes for, 12 against and 5 abstentions. With no surprise, MEP Bushill-Matthews declared that the opponents of the report (those who want to maintain the opt-out mainly) would table amendments to be considered by the Plenary of the 10th of May.
One must wait for the plenary vote, and the position of the council of ministers