I propose to take Questions Nos. 628 and 630 together.
The EU Working Time Directive 2003/88 of the European Parliament and Council concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time, was a consolidation of Council Directive 93/104/EC and Directive 2000/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. The aim of the Directive is to protect workers' health and safety by ensuring that working hours meet minimum standards applicable throughout the EU.
The original Directive 93/104 was transposed into Irish legislation by the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. The 2003 Directive made some changes in respect of a number of categories of work including doctors in training, mobile transport, offshore work, and workers on board seagoing fishing vessels. These were transposed by sectoral regulations as follows:
- European Communities (Organisation of Working Time) (Activities of Doctors in Training) Regulations 2004,
- Organisation of Working Time (Inclusion of Transport Activities) Regulations 2004,
- Organisation of Working Time (Inclusion of Offshore Work) Regulations 2004,
- European Communities (Workers on Board Sea-going Fishing Vessels) (Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003.
Questions of interpretation are a matter for the Workplace Relations Commission, which adjudicates on complaints under the Organisation of Working Time Act and has an enforcement role in terms of its application. The Labour Court hears cases on appeal from a Workplace Relations Commission adjudicator's decision, and decisions of the Labour Court in such appeals can be enforced by the District Court.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.