Working time – there are limits!

8.6.2017Working time

The Working Time Directive triggered more than 50 judgments by the Court of Justice of the EU. The EU Commission took initiative to clarify obvious misunderstandings and provides legal guidance and legal certainty for a better application of the directive.


The Commission published an interpretative document providing explanations on how to interpret the Working Time Directive correctly. In case of the occupational category of professionals and managers, they have been too often subject of the derogation clause on “autonomous workers” which let to miss-and ill-use. Much more workers were defined as autonomous workers to deny them rights (i.e. daily rest, maximum weekly working time, night work, etc.). The Commission´s interpretation now is limiting a broad interpretation of autonomous workers. This is one of other positive elements of the Commission`s interpretation.

derogation clause on “autonomous workers” which let to miss-and ill-use

Since its last revision in 2003 the directive did not change. What about new forms of employment and work organisation? People working in this new work environment are autonomous workers by nature. The Commission is acknowledging the changes which take place but is the directive as it is now sufficient to provide protection?