I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 and 536 together.
Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 on the implementation of the social partners’ agreement on the Work in Fishing Convention aims to enhance the working and living conditions for fishers working in the fishing sector on vessels registered in an EU Member State. My Department is supportive of the objective of Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 and has been working on a package of regulations in order to transpose the Directive. Work is at an advanced stage and it is hoped that these regulations will be signed into law in the coming weeks.
With regard to organisation of working time, Article 11 of the Annex to Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 relates to the hours of work and hours of rest. Article 11.1(a) of the Directive states that Articles 3 to 6 inclusive, 8 and 21 of Directive 2003/88/EC shall not apply to fishermen covered under this Agreement. As such, the limits on fishers’ hours of work and rest, as set out in Article 11 are as follows:
Subject to the limit of an average of 48 hours of work a week over a reference period not exceeding 12 months, the limits on hours of work and rest in respect of a worker on board a sea-going fishing vessel shall be either:
- maximum hours of work which shall not exceed 14 hours in any 24-hour period, and 72 hours in any seven-day period; or
- minimum hours of rest which shall not be less than 10 hours in any 24-hour period, and 77 hours in any seven-day period
Draft regulations to reflect the provisions of the Council Directive are currently under legal review by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. However, it should be noted that the provisions relating to hours of work and rest are substantially the same as existing legislation in this area.