What is the European Working Time Directive?
The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) ‘lays down the minimum requirements in relation to working hours, rest periods and annual leave’. The legislation became law in the UK on the 1st October 1998 as the ‘Working Time Regulations’ and although it applied to the vast majority of workers certain exceptions were made, including for doctors in training. In 2004 the EWTD provisions were extended to doctors in training and hours were reduced to a maximum 56 hours in August 2007 and a maximum 38 hours in August 2009.
The EWTD stipulates that workers must have:
- 11 hours continuous rest in 24 hours
- 24 hours continuous rest in 7 days (or 48 hrs in 14 days)
- 20 minute break in work periods of over 6 hours
- 4 weeks annual leave
- (for night workers) an average of no more than 8 hours work in 24 over the reference period
Since the EWTD were extended to a maximum 48 hours in August many Primary Care Trusts have found it more difficult to meet patient requirements with doctors in training therefore demand has increased for experienced locum doctors.
If you are a doctor from outside the European Economic Area our Consultancy & NHS Trust Partners may be prepared, where required, to sponsor you on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).