Following attempts by and the failure of the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to revise the Working Time Directive, the European social partners ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME and CEEP launched negotiations in November 2011 on the revision of this directive. The negotiations were now broken off.

Following long and heated debates lasting almost a year, the ETUC Executive Committee decided that the ‘final offer’ from the employers was not sufficiently balanced and consequently did not make it possible to continue the negotiations as such. In a press release, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME “regretted” that the ETUC was not able to continue negotiations in particular since they considered that “employers had made substantial and concrete proposals to solve the crucial issue of on-call time and its link in some countries with the use of the opt out, which allows Member States to derogate from the 48h weekly working time limit.”

The ball is now back in the Commission’s court, although it is expected that the Commission will not launch new proposals for revision before end 2013 and perhaps not even before the European Parliament elections of 2014. For more information on ETUC positions see ETUC website.

ETUI Contact: Stefan Clauwaert