The position of volunteers in EU-working time law


Martin Risak


Date added: 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


One aspect also addressed in the Matzak case is the personal scope of the Working Time Directive 2003/88 (WTD), as Mr Matzak is a ‘volunteer firefighter’ and it is not clear if such persons are covered by this piece of EU legislation. This article will therefore first explore the notion of volunteer’ and then examine under what circumstances volunteers are to be considered workers for the purpose of the WTD. It will become evident that the element of remuneration/pay has a special relevance in this context although this is not really in line with the health and safety purpose of the WTD. A purposive approach of defining the personal scope of application of the WTD might lead to more suitable results.