Re: Working Time Directive
Not sure exactly about the rules, a quick google suggested the following:
Even with the waiver signed by employee to exceed the 48 hour limit, the employer still has a duty to ensure the worker if fit for work. Thus there has to be adequate rest between work periods. Not quite sure what that minimum rest period must be.
The 48 hours is an average over a 17 week period. The 17 weeks is a rolling date, i.e. as you enter week 18 week 1 is discounted.
The waiver can be cancelled with one months notice. Since an employer cannot in law, to comply with the EU working time directive, force signing of the waiver, then they cannot gripe if the waiver is revoked. Note the directive requires managers and staff to assess the need for the excess hours to be worked. It might be acceptable to overcome a peak, but if that peak is due to a permanentworkload, or perhaps to cover mismanagement of resouces a waiver is inappropriate.
As for Escapee's sig suggesting employees are encouraged to exceed speed limits, etc: The employer cannot require any member of staff to break the law, otherwise the employer will be aiding and abetting the offence. Equally, if there were to be an accident in such circumstances, the Health & Safety Executive would be most displeased at the Employer's actions. If travel time is an issue, I would suggest anyone who is mobile simply call their base at the time of leaving one site, and ensure that call is logged (use a mobile phone if need be then the caller has the time and a printout could be obtained), and another call at time of arrival. It's for the employer to arrange appropriate schedules. It's also the employee's driving licence, and thus potentially livelihood at stake.