European ER news

The following is a selection of items from our weekly bulletin to member companies. Please contact us if you would like to receive our bulletin on a trial basis.


France: Employers allowed to offer tax-free bonuses in bid to appease “yellow vests”
7 December 2018
Employers’ organisations have said their members are ready to pay employees bonuses entirely tax-free and exempt from social contributions, according to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire. The government is looking for ways to boost incomes in response to the “yellow vest” …. [more]


MEPs don’t want European Labour Authority role in company restructuring
6 December 2018
The European Parliament’s Employment Committee has adopted amendments it wants to see to the Commission’s proposal for a European Labour Authority. Slightly surprisingly, they do not want it to have a role in company restructuring projects. They say the Authority should “focus on a limited …. [more]


UK government’s plans for UK EWCs under no-deal Brexit create confusion
3 December 2018
We reported last week on the publication of draft Regulations concerning European Works Councils in a no-deal Brexit scenario. The government informed Parliament that the changes “would protect arrangements for existing EWCs but no longer allow for the establishment of new EWCs in a ‘no …. [more]


France: More details on next year’s equal pay law
29 November 2018
The Ministry of Labour has published more details about new requirements on equal pay coming into force on 1st March 2019. A new Gender Equality Index (Index de l’égalité femmes-hommes) has been developed for employers to measure five indicators: (1) wage gaps between women and men …. [more]


UK government planning to maintain UK EWC law under no-deal Brexit
26 November 2018
The government has published draft Regulations concerning European Works Councils in a no-deal Brexit scenario. They confirm our worst fears. It appears that, if the EU Withdrawal Agreement is not enacted, from 30 March 2019, companies with a European Works Council set up under UK law …. [more]


Nothing new on employment laws in future EU-UK relationship paper
23 November 2018T
he Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relationship, due to be approved on Sunday in Brussels alongside the Withdrawal Agreement, contains nothing new on employment laws compared with the shorter version published last week. The Declaration has been expanded from 7 pages to ….


Germany: Federal Labour Court upholds right to strike on company premises
21 November 2018
The highest Labour Court in the country – the Federal Labour Court in Erfurt – has upheld the right of trade unions to organise striking workers on the premises of their employer. The dispute involved US on-line retailer Amazon and trade union Ver.di, and revolved around whether striking workers …. [more]


European Parliament and Council to negotiate over Working Conditions Directive
16 November 2018
The European Parliament has agreed to open negotiations with the Council (of Member State governments) over the draft Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions. In a slightly unusual move, the largest and 3rd largest parties in the Parliament (the centre-right EPP and …. [more]


European Works Councils and Brexit
15 November 2018
If the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement comes into effect, the European Works Council directive will continue to apply to the UK after Brexit on 29 March 2019 as though the UK were still an EU member state, under the terms of the transition period. However, after the transition period ends on 31 …. [more]


Brexit: Non-regression in employment laws, but no binding arbitration
15 November 2018
The text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement on Brexit provides for the continuing application of EU law (including employment directives) during the transition period which will run from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 (see Article 127 on page 196). There is the possibility of a one-off …. [more]


France – Activists seek disclosure of employer “blacklist” on equal pay
21 September 2018
Equal pay campaigners in France have launched legal action to try to force the Government to publish a “blacklist” of employers who have failed to comply with rules on the gender pay gap. Since 2014, companies with more than 50 employees have been required to negotiate a collective …. [more]


European Court ruling on night working by pregnant/breastfeeding workers
20 September 2018
The European Court of Justice has issued a ruling around the rights of pregnant workers and breastfeeding mothers concerning night working. In its decision on a case referred from Spain about a female security guard working for Prosegur and who was breastfeeding (González Castro) the …. [more]


German government plans to reduce obstacles for skilled workers from abroad
19 September 2018
The coalition government in Germany is working on a new immigration law to tackle labour shortages in Germany by attracting skilled workers from countries outside the European Economic Area. A position paper agreed by senior officials from the Labour, Economy and Interior ministries …. [more]


UK Committee recommends big changes to EEA immigration system
18 September 2018
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has reported to the Government on the economic and social impacts of migration from the European Economic Area to the UK. It will feed into a new immigration system to be developed for the post-Brexit world. Overall the report concludes that …. [more]


France – GE on course for €34m fine for not creating jobs
17 September 2018
US conglomerate GE looks set to be hit with a fine of up to €34m for not fulfilling its pledge to create 1,000 new jobs by the end of the year. CEO John Flannery was subjected to a further grilling by economy minister Bruno Le Maire last week, where he repeated that he could not honour the hiring …. [more]