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Abstract from

The Role of Work/Family Discourse in Strengthening Traditional Working Time Laws: Some Lessons from the On-Call Work Debate

Deidre McCann is Research Officer with the Conditions of Work and Employment Programme at the International Labour Office in Geneva.

The regulation of working time has become one of the main sites for legal initiatives on work/family reconciliation. Although innovative measures are increasingly being enacted, traditional working time laws can also contribute towards allowing workers sufficient time to devote to their families. This chapter is focused on laws that limit working hours. It argues that insights that have entered into working time policy from the field of work/family can strengthen these measures by challenging their underlying conceptions of working hours, rest periods and the role of working time regulation. To illus­trate this point, it examines the debate in the EU over the status of on-call work, focusing on the judgments of the European Court of Justice in the Simap and Jaeger cases.

(2005) Volume 23 No 1 Law in Context 127

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