Over the summer the European Commission asked national governments and social partners for evidence around the implementation of the Working Time Directive. This signals a renewed focus on assessing the current impact of the Directive with a view to bringing forward new reform proposals, possibly next year.

Evidence sought included views on the benefits and disadvantages of the Directive and how it can be improved and, to many, appears to repeat the already exhaustive consultation previously conducted by the Commission in this area. The last consultation led to a stalemate between the various EU actors, reflecting entrenched and conflicting views as to how to proceed. Looking ahead, it is difficult to see how this stalemate can be broken. However, there is a pressing need for reform with many on both sides of industry agreeing that the Directive is no longer fit for purpose.