Summer camps break working time rules

Holiday organisers fear price rises after EU rules that monitors must not work for more than 13 hours a day

CHILDREN'S summer camps have fallen foul of European working time laws and could be forced to hire more staff, pushing up prices.

The EU Court of Justice says colonie de vacances monitors - who look after children and organise activities - must have 11 hours of rest each day.

The job currently involves being on call at all times of the day and night over the peak summer period. Monitors work for up to 80 days a year with no time off in lieu.

Trade union Solidaires says the working conditions are "scandalous" and has welcomed the EU ruling.

Union representative Jean-Paul Portello told Le Figaro: "Our children are being looked after by people who have not had enough rest - and that's a problem."

However, some holiday organisers say the working time limits would be very difficult to apply.

They say hiring extra staff could lead to a 30% increase in prices, making the holiday colonies inaccessible to the families who need them the most.

Almost three million children go on holiday to a colonie de vacances each year.

Youth minister Jeannette Bougrab says the government recognises that reforms are necessary and will look at the problem in the autumn.

The highest administrative court in France, the Conseil d'État, is also expected to rule on the working time issue after the summer break.

Photo: benuch -