The Working Time Directive in the European Union mandates all EU countries guarantee specific rights to employees. This includes limits to weekly working hours which includes overtime. This law also includes daily and weekly breaks. There are some variances country by country, but you will find it, more often than not, applied uniformly.
Employee working hour rights essentially include:
- An average maximum workweek of 48 hours, including overtime
- A break if the workday is longer than six hours
- A minimum period of 11 consecutive hours of rest every 24 hours
- A minimum period of rest of 24 hours every seven days, in addition to the daily rest of 11 hours.
To see how the law is applied across different countries, this helpful SHRM article shows you how the law is followed in Belgium, Denmark and Italy.