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7 October 2020
EU: intensity of constraints imposed by an employer must allow for a distinction between working time and rest time during a period of on-call duty (opinion of CJEU Advocate General)
The cases (C-344/19 and C 580/19) are yet to be ruled on but Giovanni Pitruzzella, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the EU, has proposed to the court that a new criterion should be created, in order to classify on-call time as either working time or rest time. This criterion is the intensity of the constraints resulting from the worker’s need to adhere to the...
6 October 2020
Keep abreast of regulatory changes for remote working with our new dedicated ‘Remote work regulations’ folder
Remote working is undergoing a wave of regulatory initiatives globally to address the consequences of the health crisis. To make your research easier we have amalgamated all our recently published articles on the topic into one dedicated space (here), and into which we will continue to publish our articles on the various national remote working legislative reforms and planned reforms. Access this space anytime on our Home Page, in the ‘Special folders’ section on the right side of the page under the heading...
1 October 2020
EU: interview with Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, on the European Commission’s social projects
It is almost a year since the European Commission under the presidency of Ursula von der Leyen took office. One of its main social projects, the proposal for fair minimum wages in the EU (c.f. article No. 11980), is due to be presented on 28 October. However the EU Commission has a broader social roadmap and, as a result of the current crisis, other topics have also become immediate (e.g. workers’ information and consultation, remote working, the right to digital disconnection). In an interview with Planet Labor...
22 September 2020
EU: European Commission proposes three new exposure limit values for carcinogenic chemicals
EU Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work is undergoing its fourth revision. This time round, the European Commission is proposing to lower the existing exposure limit for benzene,  a substance to which nearly 1 million workers are exposed, and primarily in the petrochemicals, automotive, and metallurgy industries. Additionally, the European Commission is introducing two new  exposure limit values, one for acrylonitrile and the...
16 September 2020
EU: lessons from the Covid pandemic dominates Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union address
On 16 September European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, delivered her first State of the Union address. In it the President emphasized the enduring promise of protection, stability and opportunity offered by the social market economy. From the Green Pact to the digital revolution, from migration policy to geopolitics: one-by-one the European Commission head detailed her political priorities for the year ahead along with her vision for Europe, including her intention to quickly present a proposal on...
3 September 2020
EU: very large EU trade union majority supporting an EU Directive for a minimum salary at a decent level
The answer to the question if the European trade union movement is working as one to support European legislation on decent minimum wages is ‘not quite’, but ‘almost’. On 03 September the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) issued a press release announcing that ‘the overwhelming majority of European trade unions representing 45 million workers have voted in favour of a new EU law to support fair minimum wages and collective bargaining,’  with the overwhelming majority in question amounting to...
27 August 2020
EU: European Parliament working on draft directive on the right to disconnect
We reported in June that this initiative was in the pipeline (see article n°12024). At the end of July, MEP Alex Saliba, from Malta’s Labour Party, put forward a draft resolution on the right to disconnect (here). If adopted with the same legal regime, the resolution will require the European Commission to present a proposal for a directive on the right to disconnect and provide justification if it does not do so. In line with the requirements for the European Parliament when exercising its right of initiative,...
Remote work regulations Right to disconnect
16 July 2020
EU: social priorities of the German EU Council Presidency
On 16 July, the German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs presented the members of the European Parliament’s Employment Committee with the political priorities of his country’s presidency for its six-month tenure of the rotating EU Council Presidency role that commenced on 01 July. Minister Hubertus Heil focused on three themes, (i) Europe’s social dimension, (ii) jobs of the future, and (iii) improving working conditions in global supply chains.
16 July 2020
EU: CJEU throws out Privacy Shield allowing EU-US personal data transfer
On 16 July the CJEU handed down a ruling throwing out the Privacy Shield, which had succeeded the earlier Safe Harbour data transfer agreement that was also struck down by the same court back in 2015, and also on similar grounds of the risk to data protection posed by US surveillance programmes. The Privacy Shield arrangement can currently derogate from the EU’s main data privacy regime, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and as result allows companies to legally transfer European citizens’...
9 July 2020
EU: final adoption of the legislative package on road transport working conditions
The vote on 08 July by MEPs brings to a close a three-year parliamentary process on a package of three pieces of legislation aimed at improving drivers’ working conditions and ending distortion of competition in the road transport sector. The revised rules address the posting of drivers, their driving times and rest periods as well as better enforcement of cabotage rules (the transport of goods carried out by non-resident hauliers in a host Member State on a temporary basis). The rules on posting will apply...