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Commission reports on the implementation of Directive on working conditions in cross-border railway services

14/11/2012 Commission reports on the implementation of Directive on working conditions in cross-border railway services

The implementation of the Directive 2005/47/EC on the working conditions linked mainly to working time for workers in cross-border train services has been mostly successful, new Commission report says.

The report is required in the context of the development of the railways sector. Its main findings are:

  • The main impact of the Directive lies in its role as a safety net. It prevents a race-to-the-bottom on working conditions, particularly working time, by imposing a harmonised floor below which no operator may go.
  • There is no evidence to show that interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector are significantly hampered by the rules established by the Directive. However the expected increase in cross-border services, in particular by smaller operators, may give these rules more prominence in the future.
  • The existing margin for flexibility on the number and conditions of daily rests has not been fully exploited by both sides of industry. Staff are are allowed only one daily rest away from its base. However, collective bargaining at national or company level may agree on a second rest away from home and the conditions under which this takes place. Nevertheless, there have been fewer collective agreements than expected and negotiations between Social Partners at EU level have so far not led to an agreement on this matter. The Commission urges the social partners at all levels to make full use of this possibility where required. It will closely follow the evolution of such negotiations and reassess the situation in two years' time.

Background

Directive 2005/47/EC regulates the working conditions linked mainly to working time for mobile workers in cross-border train-services (both passenger and freight services). In particular, it regulates the issues of the minimum length of daily rests, that only one daily rest may take place away from the train crew's base (local collective agreements may agree on another such 'rest away from home'), the length of breaks during the working day, the weekly rest period and limits on driving time.

Conditions were negotiated by sectoral Social Partners at EU level. Their Agreement included a joint request for the Commission to implement it by a Council Decision on a proposal from the Commission in accordance with Article 139(2) of the Treaty.


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