By a judgment of 17 March 2021 (C-585/19), the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") interpreted the Directive 2003/88/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time1 ("Working Time Directive") in order to determine how to appraise the minimum daily rest period in case of multiple contracts with the same employer.
In the case debated before the CJEU a dispute had arisen between an employee and the University of Economic Studies in Bucharest (Romania) which refused to pay the salary for the hours exceeding the maximum daily working hours as a result of several employment contracts running in parallel for different projects/activities of the employee for the benefit of the University.
The CJEU concluded that the minimum daily rest period provided for in Article 3 of the Working Time Directive shall apply to all employment contracts taken as a whole and not separately to each contract.
Every worker is therefore entitled to a daily rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours per day, irrespective of whether he/she is employed under one or several employment contracts with the same employer. In other words, the signing of different contracts may not be considered to be a period of resting hours under one contract and as working time under another contract.
1 Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time
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