Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
The European Working Time Directive lays down minimum safety and health requirements for the organisation of working time. The Directive applies to, inter alia, minimum periods of daily rest, weekly rest and annual leave, to breaks and maximum weekly working time. The Directive applies to all sectors of activity, including retained firefighters.
The Working Time Directive is transposed into Irish law by the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. Article 17 of the Directive provides for a range of permitted derogations, including for persons working for fire and other civil protection services.
S.I. No. 52/1998 - Organisation of Working Time (Exemption of Civil Protection Services) Regulations 1998 provides that persons employed in a range of activities, including retained firefighters, are, in relation to the carrying out of the duties involved in that activity, exempt from the application of sections 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. The exemptions relate to daily rest periods, rests and intervals at work, weekly rest periods, weekly working hours and night working hours, respectively.