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Dolores Utrilla
11th November 2021
Employment & Immigration Internal Market

Stand-by time of retained firefighters is not ‘working time’ if they are able to manage their time without objective and very significant constraints, Court of Justice rules

The Court of Justice has delivered its ruling in Dublin City Council (C-214/20), a preliminary ruling requested by the Irish Labour Court, clarifying the meaning of the concept of ‘working time’ under Article 2 of the Working Time Directive 2003/88. 

The case stems from a dispute concerning a part-time firefighter retained by a fire station, who is attached to respond to an emergency call when alerted, and who simultaneously works as a part-time taxi driver. He is effectively on-call 24 hours of the day, 7 days of the week (absent annual and other leave periods such as sick leave and where he notifies his employer in advance of his unavailability and the employer agrees to this). When a call is received for the fire brigade, the a


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