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28 September 2021
EU: European trade unions welcome the SPD victory in Germany
The European Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the SPD Social Democrat victory in Germany’s federal elections on 26 September (with 26% of the votes vs. approximately 24% for the CDU-CSU conservatives) as well as the victorious party’s flagship proposal to raise the minimum wage from €9.60 to...
1 July 2021
Data: where do countries in Europe stand on paternity leave?
With France set to double the number of days of paternity leave from 01 July, Planet Labor decided to see how this measure is being implemented across Europe. From the 24 countries reviewed, which grant an average of 26 days leave upon the birth of a child, two countries clearly stand out. First is Spain with 112 days of paternity leave (16 weeks), 6 of which are compulsory at birth, and second is Norway with 105 days (15 weeks).
29 June 2021
EU: a new strategic framework on health and safety at work for 2021-2027 in a world marked by the Covid-19 pandemic
On 28 June, the European Commission presented a new strategic framework for occupational safety and health (OSH) based on three priorities: anticipating transitions, moving towards zero accidents, and preparing for potential future health crises. This framework is based on the European Pillar of Social Rights that the heads of the EU Member States validated in May 2021, and which in its Principle No. 10 and gives workers ‘the right to a high level of protection of their health and safety at work.’
10 May 2021
EU: could the Porto Social Summit mark a turning point?
Portugal took the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in January with the firm intention of pushing forward social issues (see article n°12298). The Porto Social Summit, which was attended on 7 and 8 May by heads of state and government as well as the leaders of EU institutions, in order to discuss the European Pillar of Social Rights, was announced as the pinnacle of the Portuguese presidency. The summit led to a joint statement and series of commitments, however it failed to break the deadlock on...
26 April 2021
Artificial intelligence: European Commission proposes new rules and measures to ensure safety and protect fundamental rights
The European Commission has proposed new regulation with a view to increasing the trust of European people in the use of artificial intelligence (AI), such as in the area of employment. The proposals would involve rules that are proportionate to the specific risks associated with AI systems. Once adopted by the European Parliament and the Member States, these measures will be directly applicable throughout the EU. In parallel, the Commission will continue to work with Member States to implement the measures...
9 April 2021
Health crisis exposes shortcomings of EU member states’ welfare systems
European Union member states were all compelled by the Covid-19 pandemic to implement urgent reforms to their welfare systems. According to a study of social protection during the Covid-19 pandemic, conducted by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), the independent research and training centre of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), 24 out of the 27 EU member states have increased the amount or duration of unemployment or income support benefits, or broadened the eligibility conditions for such aid....
18 March 2021
EU Council of Ministers’ Legal Service provides opinion on the legal basis of the EU Directive proposal on adequate minimum wages
Governments will no longer be able to invoke the lack of EU competence in negotiations on the draft EU Directive on adequate minimum wages. Planet Labor has obtained the decision handed down by the EU Council Legal Service from 09 March that validates the legal basis used by the EU Commission in its legislative proposal (c.f. article No. 12199). According to its opinion, as long as the...
16 March 2021
Ireland: SIPTU trade union lodges complaint with European Commission to pressure government to toughen law on European Works Councils
The complaint was first reported by our colleagues at the Irish trade publication IRN. Ireland’s Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) has filed a complaint with the European Commission about the inadequacy of the law transposing the European Works Council Directive into domestic law. The union claims that workers lack the means to make sure the requirements of the directive are respected. What makes the complaint more significant is that it comes as many companies that had placed their...
15 March 2021
Uber ordered to share with two UK drivers the data used as basis for blocking their accounts
On 11 March, the district court in Amsterdam – where Uber’s European headquarters is based – ruled that the tech giant must provide two British complainants, in the two months following its decision, with access to the data it used as a basis for blocking them from the mobile application. According to the court, the move to block the drivers from the app was insufficiently transparent and the drivers concerned had not been able to verify the accuracy and lawfulness of the processing of their personal data....
11 March 2021
EU: MEPs advance on a future EU Directive on human rights related corporate due diligence
On 10 March the European Parliament adopted its draft report containing recommendations to the European Commission on corporate due diligence and accountabilit. The text marginally modifies the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs’s initial version published in January 2021, and, in spite of opposition pressure, has chosen to maintain stock market listed and high-risk SMEs within its scope (for our report on its adoption c.f. article No.12339). This latest report should inform the legislative proposal...
10 March 2021
EU: a stand-by period is only considered working time in its entirety if during it the employer significantly constrains the worker’s ability to manage his/her free time
On 09 March the CJEU handed down two rulings affirming that a period of stand-by duty can constitute working time in its entirety only when the constraints imposed on the worker very significantly affect his or her ability to manage his or her free time during that period. These constraints however must result from the employer’s instructions and the Luxembourg judges have...