Over the limit?
The final phase of the European Working Time Directive came into force on 1 August. We report from some of the affected countries
Junior hospital doctors throughout Europe were supposed to start a new, shorter, 58 hour week. Aimed at improving their working lives-- and their patients' safety--the European directive aims to reduce the limit further to just 48 hours by 2009. But despite the new rules, many doctors will continue to work long hours.
United Kingdom: A recent survey of 100 NHS chief executives by the NHS Confederation, which represents NHS management, showed that 16% did not expect their trusts to have complied with the European Working Time Directive by 1 August. Junior doctors could take their employers to employment tribunals, and hospitals will be liable to fines of up to £5000 ($9200; a7600) from the Health and Safety Executive each time they break the directive.
The BMA said