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The European Working Time Directive (EWTD)

This legislation sets limits on working hours for all employees, including doctors. Under EWTD nobody should work more than 48 hours a week, including time spent working resident on-call. The only exception is where an employee has agreed to opt-out. Click here for BMA guidance on EWTD

The New Deal

The New Deal is an agreement that seeks to protect junior doctors from working too many hours without rest. It is not the same as the European Working Time Directive, and where guidance overlaps between the New Deal and EWTD, the more beneficial arrangement should apply.

Under the New Deal, a doctor working a full shift should have a half-hour ‘natural break’ approximately every four hours. Other requirements apply to doctors working different shift patterns.

For more information about EWTD and the New Deal, please consult the links below (data connection required):

Prospective Cover

Where juniors are required to cover each others’ leave, they are working a rota with prospective cover. Rotas without prospective cover use locums to cover periods of leave. Guidance on comparing rotas with and without prospective cover is expected to be released shortly.