1. Although the general principle is that the working week in the EU should consist of a maximum of 48 hours and that in practice it is an exception for workers in the EU to work longer, Member States may decide not to apply Article 6 provided that they take the necessary measures to ensure the effective protection of the safety and health of workers. Implementation of this option, however, shall be expressly laid down by collective agreement or agreement between the social partners at the appropriate level or by national law following consultation of the social partners at the appropriate level.
1a. In any event, Member States wishing to make use of this option shall take the necessary measures to ensure that:
(a) no employer requires a worker to work more than 48 hours over a seven-day period, calculated as an average for the reference period referred to in Article 16(b), unless he has first obtained the worker's agreement to perform such work. This agreement shall be valid for a period not exceeding one year and shall be renewable.
(b) no worker shall be subjected to any detriment by his employer because he is not willing to give his agreement to perform such work or because withdraws his agreement for any reason;
(c) an agreement given at:
(i) the time of the signature of the individual employment contract; or
(ii) during the first four weeks of the employment relationship
is null and void;
(d) no worker who has given an agreement under this Article shall, over a period of seven days, work more than:
(i) 60 hours, calculated as an average over a period of 3 months, unless otherwise provided for in a collective agreement or an agreement between the social partners; or
(ii) 65 hours, calculated as an average over a period of 3 months, in the absence of a collective agreement and when the inactive part of on-call time is regarded as working time in accordance with Article 2a;
(e) every worker is entitled to withdraw his agreement to perform such work during the first six months after signature of a valid agreement or during and up to three months after the probation period specified in his contract is completed whichever is longer with immediate effect, by informing his employer in due time in writing that he is doing so. Thereafter, the employer may require the worker to give, in writing, a period of notice, which shall not exceed two months;
(f) the employer keeps up-to-date records of all workers who carry out such work and adequate records for establishing that the provisions of this Directive are complied with;
(g) the records are placed at the disposal of the competent authorities, which may, for
reasons connected with the safety and/or health of workers, prohibit or restrict the possibility of exceeding the maximum weekly working hours;
(h) the employer provides the competent authorities at their request with information
on cases in which agreement has been given by workers to perform work exceeding 48 hours over a period of seven days, calculated as an average for the reference period referred to in Article 16(b), and adequate records for establishing that the provisions of this Directive are complied with.
1b. Subject to compliance with the general principles relating to the protection of the safety and health of workers, where a worker is employed by the same employer for a period, or periods, that do not exceed 10 weeks in total over a period of 12 months, the
provisions in paragraph 1a, subparagraphs (c)(ii) and (d), shall not apply."