The EU Working Time Directive

Law360, New York (February 18, 2009, 12:00 AM EST) -- European Union law sets limits on the number of hours each week any worker is allowed to work. Introduced as a health and safety measure in the mid-1990s, the working time directive sets a maximum of 48 hours per week. It also guarantees daily and weekly rest periods, a rest break during working hours and at least four weeks’ paid annual leave a year.

There are a number of exceptions in the law. The most significant allows individuals to opt out of the 48-hour maximum. The...
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