Directive 1993/104 - Aspects of the organization of working time

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Current status

This directive was in effect from January  2, 1994 until August  1, 2004 and should have been implemented in national regulation on November 23, 1996 at the latest.


Key information

official title

Council Directive 93/104/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning certain aspects of the organization of working time
Legal instrument Directive
Number legal act Directive 1993/104
Original proposal COM(1990)317
CELEX number i 31993L0104


Key dates

Document 23-11-1993
Publication in Official Journal 13-12-1993; Special edition in Polish: Chapter 05 Volume 002,Special edition in Slovak: Chapter 05 Volume 002,Special edition in Czech: Chapter 05 Volume 002,Special edition in Lithuanian: Chapter 05 Volume 002,Special edition in Estonian: Chapter 05 Volume 002,Special edition in Hungarian: Chapter 05 Volume 002,OJ L 307, 13.12.1993,Special edition in Slovenian: Chapter 05 Volume 002,Special edition in Latvian: Chapter 05 Volume 002,Special edition in Maltese: Chapter 05 Volume 002
Effect 02-01-1994; Entry into force Date pub. + 20 See 192E191-P 2
End of validity 01-08-2004; Repealed by 32003L0088
Transposition 23-11-1996; At the latest See Art 18


Legislative text

Avis juridique important




Council Directive 93/104/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning certain aspects of the organization of working time

Official Journal L 307 , 13/12/1993 P. 0018 - 0024

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 93/104/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning certain aspects of the organization of working time


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 118a thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1) ,

In cooperation with the European Parliament(2) ,

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(3) ,

Whereas Article 118a of the Treaty provides that the Council shall adopt, by means of directives, minimum requirements for encouraging improvements, especially in the working environment, to ensure a better level of protection of the safety and health of workers;

Whereas, under the terms of that Article, those directives are to avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of small and medium-sized undertakings;

Whereas the provisions of Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work(4) are fully applicable to the areas covered by this Directive without prejudice to more stringent and/or specific provisions contained therein;

Whereas the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers, adopted at the meeting of the European Council held at Strasbourg on 9 December 1989 by the Heads of State or of Government of 11 Member States, and in particular points 7, first subparagraph, 8 and 19, first subparagraph, thereof, declared that:

'7. The completion of the internal market must lead to an improvement in the living and working conditions of workers in the European Community. This process must result from an approximation of these conditions while the improvement is being maintained, as regards in particular the duration and organization of working time and forms of employment other than open-ended contracts, such as fixed-term contracts, part-time working, temporary work and seasonal work.

  • 8. 
    Every worker in the European Community shall have a right to a weekly rest period and to annual paid leave, the duration of which must be progressively harmonized in accordance with national practices.
  • 19. 
    Every worker must enjoy satisfactory health and safety conditions in his working environment. Appropriate measures must be taken in order to achieve further harmonization of conditions in this area while maintaining the improvements made.';

Whereas the improvement of workers' safety, hygiene and health at work is an objective which should not be subordinated to purely economic considerations;

Whereas this Directive is a practical contribution towards creating the social dimension of the internal market;

Whereas laying down minimum requirements with regard to the organization of working time is likely to improve the working conditions of workers in the Community;

Whereas, in order to ensure the safety and health of Community workers, the latter must be granted minimum daily, weekly and annual periods of rest and adequate breaks; whereas it is also necessary in this context to place a maximum limit on weekly working hours;

Whereas account should be taken of the principles of the International Labour Organization with regard to the organization of working time, including those relating to night work;

Whereas, with respect to the weekly rest period, due account should be taken of the diversity of cultural, ethnic, religious and other factors in the Member States; whereas, in particular, it is ultimately for each Member State to decide whether Sunday should be included in the weekly rest period, and if so to what extent;

Whereas research has shown that the human body is more...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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