ON-CALL DUTY: COURT CONFIRMS THAT ON-CALL DUTY IS CLASSIFIED AS WORKING TIME.

 
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The European Union Court of Justice confirmed on December 1 that on-call duty is classified as working time. The Court was responding to a question from France's Council of State concerning the compatibility of a decree with the EU Directive on working time (93/104). This decree lays down a weighting mechanism for periods of night duty by workers in certain social and medico-social establishments, for the purpose of calculating pay and overtime which is intended to take account of the fact that there are periods of inactivity during on-call duty.

In its ruling, in case C-14/04, the Court recalls that the Directive does not apply to the remuneration of workers. On the other hand, the hours of presence in question must be counted in their entirety as working time. Yet the flat-rate weighting mechanism in question takes the hours of presence of the workers concerned into account only in part. The total working time of a worker may thus amount to, or even exceed, 60 hours a week (whereas the Directive restricts the working week to 48 hours).

Directive 93/104 concerning certain aspects of working time was replaced by Directive 2003/88 which entered into force on August 2, 2004 and is currently...

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