The European Working Time Directive is a Directive of the European Union which was introduced in 1993 with the aim of protecting the health & safety of workers across the EU. As working for long hours and excessive periods of time had been identified as one of the major causes of stress, depression and illness among workers, the European Working Time Directive was brought in to address these issues.

The Working Time Directive means that workers in the EU are entitled to a limit to the amount of time they work in a week, which should not exceed 48 hours; they should have rights to paid annual leave of at least four weeks per annum; to rest breaks during work time and to a period of rest of at least 11 consecutive hours in any 24 hour period.

The Working Time Directive also offers extra protections in the area of night work which must not exceed eight hours on average.

Although the directive applies to all member states, in the UK it is possible to opt out of the 48 hour working week and work longer hours. However, it is not possible to opt out of the other requirements of the directive.

Peninsula Business Services can provide advice and assistance if you need help to ensure you are complying with the requirements of the European Working Time Directive. Contact us today – call 0800 0282 420, or use our callback form to arrange for us to get in touch at a time that is convenient for you.