Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The EU Social chapter

This is just a list for people who, like myself, were not entirely sure as to what precisely the Social Chapter of the EU amounted to. But please read below and you will find your swathes of knowledge increase like the bellies of the fat cats.

Thatchers government negotiated an opt-out from the Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty, since European employment directives damaged the flexibility of the UK labour market.

After their election victory in May 1997, Labour signed up to the Chapter with a transitional phase before the main laws of worker’s rights are full introduced into Britain.

One change to British law is the Working Hours Directive (first introduced by the EU in 1993). This guarantees workers the right to paid holidays; unpaid maternity and paternity leave; rest-breaks between shifts and a maximum working week of 48 hours.

But this is the juicy stuff:
  • Protection of rights of workers who move within the EU
  • Fair pay for employment
  • Improvement of conditions of employment (including working hours)
  • Social Security provision for low income groups and unemployed
  • Freedom of association and right to collective bargaining
  • Vocational training
  • Equal treatment for men and women
  • Health and safety at work
  • Employment opportunities for young people, the disabled and people over the age of compulsory retirement.
And that is the social chapter they "keep banging on about". Yeah, it seems lika a good place to start rolling back EU law.

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