HOSPEEM response to the second-phase consultation “Reviewing the Working Time Directive” under Article 154 of the TFUE

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM response 2nd phase consultation working time directive

HOSPEEM welcomes the second stage consultation[1] published by the European Commission and the report on the implementation by Member States of Directive 2003/88/EC[2]. The two documents provide a deep and interesting analysis on the implementation of the Directive and on the response of each Member State in complying with the Directive. The Consultation paper has pointed out the main issues of relevance and HOSPEEM is pleased to read from the consultation that the concerns raised with the response to the first consultation in May 2010 have been addressed by the European Commission.

As highlighted in HOSPEEM’s response to the first phase consultation, the interpretation given by the European Court of Justice to cases SIMAP (C-303/98), Jaeger (C-151/02) and Dellas (C-14/04) has challenged the ability of health service employers to properly organise healthcare services in the EU 27, especially hospital services delivering 24/7 patient care, some highly specialised services and small and remote units.

HOSPEEM made clear in the previous response that more flexibility is needed in order to provide hospital managers with the necessary resources, in terms of staff, to organise health services efficiently. As underlined on several occasions[3], the current and the future shortages of health professionals is one of the main issues of concern for our sector and it needs to be addressed in order to ensure that European healthcare services will be able to deliver high quality healthcare to an increasingly ageing European population.

HOSPEEM as a European Social partner is committed to develop strategies to encourage young people to undertake jobs in the health sector, in particular by enhancing the attractiveness of the health care sector as a place to work. This work needs to be supported by a European legislation that allows flexible and modern working patterns.

[1] COM (2010) 801 final Communication from the Commission to the Parliament, the Council and the Committee of the Regions Reviewing the Working Time Directive (Second-phase consultation of the social partners at European level under Article 154 TFEU)

[2] COM (2010) 802 final Report from the Commission to the Parliament, the Council and the Committee of the Regions on implementation by Member States of Directive 2003/88/EC (‘The Working Time Directive’).

[3]Report on the open consultation on the Green Paper on the European Workforce for Health”, December 2009; “Council conclusions on investing in Europe’s health workforce of tomorrow: Scope for innovation and collaboration”, December 2010; “HOSPEEM and EPSU Framework of Action on Recruitment and Retention”, December 2010.