Saturday 18. September 2021


EUROPE/ March 2015

The European Sunday Alliance participated in the public consultation on the review on the Working Time Directive


The European Commission’s is currently reviewing the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) and launched an online public consultation of the Directive. A public consultation is a tool used by the European Commission to gather insights and contributions from all citizens and organisations.


unknownThe purpose of the Working Time Directive is to protect the health and safety of employees by setting down minimum standards, applicable throughout the EU, relating to working time regulations. The Directive applies to minimum periods of daily rest, weekly rest and annual leave, to breaks and maximum weekly working time and to certain aspects of night work and patterns of work.


The European Sunday Alliance participated in the public consultation, as follows:


The European Sunday Alliance is a network of trade unions, employers’ organisations, national Sunday Alliances, civil society organisations and church organisations. Due to this huge variety of organisations the Alliance decided to remain neutral, except on this question: A work-free Sunday and decent working hours are of paramount importance for EU-citizens. Current legislation and practices need to be more protective of the dignity, safety and health of everyone and should more attentively promote the balancing of professional and family/private life. Employment, the creation of jobs and economic competitiveness are the main requirements for Europe. However competitiveness, decent work and a common weekly day of rest go hand in hand: Competitiveness needs innovation, innovation needs creativity and creativity needs recreation! The EU should fulfill its obligation under Art.31 EUCFR and Art.153 TFEU and promote decent working hours, which exclude in general working late evenings, nights, bank holidays and Sundays. Empirical studies prove that non-standard working hours cause a de-synchronisation of the social rhythms, which has a serious negative effect on the health and safety of workers. Unsustainable working time patterns can lead to increased stress and illnesses. People usually work on Sundays or at irregular hours out of financial necessity rather than by choice. Work-free weekends traditionally support the independence of persons from a purely economic-driven lifestyle. Sundays are the reference for the time organisation of state and society. The Directive 94/33/EC acknowledges Sunday as the weekly rest day for young people. It is important to enable families to enjoy a proper family life. In times of growing individualism collective spare time becomes more important. Only a well-protected common weekly day of rest as requested in the European Social Charter enables citizens to enjoy full participation in cultural, sports, social and religious life.

Brussels, 2 March 2015


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