Fair treatment of workers is an issue worldwide and in almost every setting. In the European Union, the working time directive, or WTD, prescribes certain rules about how many hours an employee can ethically work on a job per week. Calculating WTD pay and hours can be complicated, but you can do it manually or by using an online working time directive calculator. Accurate calculations are important for compliance and fair labor practices.

Basic WTD Rules

Working time directive rules state that people cannot work more than an average of 48 hours per week in any 17-week period. This means that an employee could work overtime in any given week as long as he does not average more than 48 hours per week during the assigned period.

Some professions have different WTD rules. Doctors in training have a 26-week reference period, while the offshore sector has a 52-week period. Businesses using a database to keep track of hours in the offshore sector can do a MTD and YTD calculation in SQL to determine monthly and yearly hours worked in special cases like these.

Opting Out of WTD Rules

When someone has more than one job that requires her to work more than an average of 48 hours per week in any given period, she can sign an opt-out form. Children under the age of 18 are not eligible to sign this form and must not work more than eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. Overnight workers are also not eligible to sign this opt-out form and must work no more than eight hours per shift.

In the U.K., workers must have access to 28 days of paid leave from work in each year. This leave time does not count as WTD pay and extends the length of the WTD period. For instance, if a worker takes 10 days of leave in a period, that period must be extended by 10 days before WTD can be calculated accurately. An online working time directive calculator can help in calculating WTD for an employee who has taken a lot of paid leave.

SQL and WTD Calculations

Many businesses track worker hours in a structured query language database, which can help with WTD calculations. You can easily conduct a SQL YTD query, which tells you how many hours an offshore employee has worked in a year, and then divide that number by 52 weeks in order to determine how many hours they averaged per week. Similarly, you can conduct a MTD and YTD calculation in SQL to check on how many hours per week a doctor in training is working in a six- or 12-month period and ensure you are in compliance with WTD rules.

An Example WTD Calculation

Calculating WTD for an example or two could help you better understand how to calculate WTD pay for your employees or what data to enter in a working time directive calculator. Let's say that Elizabeth is an engineer, and these are her work hours:

  • Week 1: 42 hours
  • Week 2: 58 hours
  • Week 3: 25 hours
  • Week 4: 40 hours
  • Week 5: 30 hours
  • Week 6: 50 hours
  • Week 7: 55 hours
  • Week 8: 30 hours
  • Week 9: 30 hours
  • Week 10: 40 hours
  • Week 11: 25 hours
  • Week 12: 40 hours
  • Week 13: 41 hours
  • Week 14: 38 hours
  • Week 15: 45 hours
  • Week 16: 30 hours
  • Week 17: 32 hours

This data, pulled from time cards, reveals that Elizabeth has worked a total of 651 hours during this WTD. When we divide 651 hours by 17 weeks, we see that her average hours per week equals just over 38 hours. This means that Elizabeth is within WTD standards for average work time.

While an SQL MTD and YTD calculation in SQL cannot directly give you the numbers you need for this calculation, you could add a few months together to end up with a 17-week period and then complete the same equation as above.