EU Developments

WTD: second stage consultation starts

The EU Commission has started the second round of consultation on amendments to the Working Time Directive (WTD) with a view to progressing matters in 2011. Significantly, there is no proposal to abolish the opt-out from the 48-hour maximum working week, a bone of contention over the last few years.

EU law ‘gold plating’ to end

The Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, has set out a series of new principles that the government will use when introducing European measures into UK law to end so-called ‘gold-plating’. This is something the government was keen but failed to do with the Agency Workers Regulations as it was constrained by the pre-existing agreement between the TUC and CBI to introduce the 12-week qualifying rule.

ECJ takes purposive approach to interpretation of the ARD

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the Acquired Rights Directive (ARD) can apply to transfer employee rights and liabilities when an operating company (to whom employees are permanently assigned) transfers its business to a third party, even though the employees are technically the employees of another (group) service company. See Albron Catering BV v FNV Bondgenoten and Roest in Case Digests.

Extending maternity leave to 20 weeks with full pay

The European Parliament has voted in favour of plans to extend maternity leave to 20 weeks on full pay, prompting howls of protest from business leaders.


Parental leave to be extended to 4 months

Workers’ rights to parental leave must be increased, from 8 March 2012, from 3 to 4  months for each parent – and at least one of the four months will not be transferable between parents to encourage fathers to take the leave.

WTD: expect movement in late 2010

The European Commission is to start a second round of consultation on the Working Time Directive (WTD) this autumn.

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