International employment law news in brief

Slovenian EU presidency 2008

Three years after having joined the European Union, Slovenia takes on the EU presidency up to June 2008. To provide information about its activity the Slovenian EU council presidency has created a website.

France bans smoking in bars

In January 2008 France extended its smoking ban to bars, discos, restaurants, hotels, casinos and cafes. Any individuals who breach the provisions will face a fine of £50. A smoking ban was introduced last year in workplaces, hospitals and airports. The Turkish government had planned to implement a smoking ban in indoor areas in 2008 but, following strong lobbying by tobacco companies, has now decided to postpone it until 2009.

Czech Republic extends doctors’ hours

The Czech Ministry of Health had proposed to extend doctors’ working hours from 40 to 48 hours per week in an attempt to resolve a labour shortage in the sector. The doctors’ professional organisation, the Czech Medical Chamber, and trade unions are against the proposal and have voiced their concerns about the financial repercussions of the transfer of eight weeks’ working hours from overtime to “normal” working week.

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