20/03/2015

EU Court Rules Ireland Breaching EU Working Time Directive

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Ireland is in breach of EU law for not including the training time of junior doctors as part of EU Working Time (EUWT).

The court, Europe's highest, said that the Irish government is wrong to not include training time within EUWT, which governs the maximum number of hours an EU citizen can be expected to work and lays out the minimum rest periods.

According to a report by RTÉ, the court found that junior doctors were required to provide both a medical service while also carrying out training.

The court's Advocate General stated: "Irrespective of whether training takes place at a hospital or on the premises of the training body, what is important is that NCHDs are required to remain during those training hours in a place that they are not free to choose, but which depends on the training programme that they are required to follow.

"That obligation for NCHDs to be physically present in a particular place for their training hours constitutes a constraint which prevents them from freely engaging in their personal activities."

(MH/IT)

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