UK ‘risks falling behind’ EU on workers’ rights

uk risks

The UK is at a “real risk” of falling behind the EU when it comes to workers’ rights, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) says. The union body said the EU had “various initiatives” in the pipeline which would improve standards once they became law. But it said the UK had no similar legislation on the way. The government said in protecting workers’ rights the UK already “goes further than the EU in many areas”. The TUC’s call comes three months after a new post-Brexit trade deal came into force between the UK and EU. Both sides have committed not to lower labour standards in a way that impacts trade or investment – but that does not mean they have to match each other. Nonetheless, the TUC said the UK had already failed to implement directives it agreed to while still a member of the EU, including:

  • A work-life balance directive, which gives fathers the right to day-one paid paternity leave and gives all workers the right to request flexible work
  • And a transparent and predictable working conditions directive, which gives workers compensation for cancelled shifts, predictability of hours for zero hours contracts, and a right to free mandatory training. It said further initiatives were being considered by the EU that could improve conditions for “platform workers” and give employees the right to “digitally disconnect” outside working hours. The bloc is also looking at ways to make employers accountable for the rights of workers in their supply chains.(BBC)…[+]