European Employment Law at a Crossroads
A Top Level Briefing
Thursday 10th January 2008
at the UCU Conference Centre,
Britannia Street, London WC1
The Institute of Employment Rights
PLEASE NOTE THE STARTING TIME OF THE BRIEFING
About the Briefing
Once again Europe is at the centre of political debate, a debate that could have profound effects on employment rights and trade union freedoms.
Central to the debate are three issues:
• The European Reform Treaty, the status of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the implications, if any, of the UK’s “red line” objection to the Charter.
• The EU Green Paper on Modernising Labour Law to meet the Challenges of the 21st Century and its concept of “Flexicurity”.
• Important cases currently before the European Court of Justice (of the European Union) and the European Court of Human Rights (of the Council of Europe).
Understanding the arguments and getting behind the media headlines is crucial if the labour movement is to take part in an informed discussion about the direction of Europe and more specifically about the future direction of labour law.
To inform this debate the Institute is aiming to bring together a unique network of experts including academics, lawyers and trade unionists from within the UK and across Europe. Brian Bercusson, Professor of European Law at Kings College London will lead and coordinate the discussion with the assistance of Judith Kirton-Darling, European Officer of Unite-the Union
The platform will also include representatives of the ETUI Research Group on Transnational Trade Union Rights and the unions involved in the Viking and Laval cases (LO: Sweden and FSU: Finland, and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)).
Issues for discussion
What do we think about the EU Reform Treaty? The Treaty makes the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights binding on Member States. The Charter includes rights to collective bargaining and collective action, information and consultation, fair and just working conditions, and protection of all workers against unjustified dismissal. The UK negotiated an “opt-out” from the Charter. Will this stand up where British labour laws conflict with
the Charter’s fundamental rights?
Does the emphasis in the Commission’s Green Papers on “flexicurity” mean removing existing employment protection legislation and, if so, how can it be combated? What can be extracted which will protect vulnerable and exploitable workers?
And in the European courts, fundamental questions are raised in the Viking and Laval cases: is the right to strike protected where it interferes with the free movement of goods and services? According to David Cockcroft, general secretary of ITF, “What’s at issue here could hardly be more fundamental. The right to defend your job against the right of a business to do what it takes to up its profits – a Europe for the powerful or a Europe for its citizens.”
This conference is perfectly timed to update delegates on these crucial issues. The platform of speakers promises to surpass the exceptionally high standard of speakers traditionally offered by the Institute (speaker details will be updated regularly on our
website) offering a unique insight into the workings of Europe.
Join us for this important debate.
Who should attend
The seminar will be of great interest to trade unionists, employment lawyers, personnel specialists, academics and students and those concerned with the development of public policy.
How to book
To reserve your place, complete the form below and send your cheque, made payable to IER, to Institute of Employment Rights, The People’s Centre, 50-54 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5SD.
Tel 0151 702 6925; fax 0151 702 6935; firstname.lastname@example.org
CPD, NPP and EPP accreditation
This seminar counts for credit hours under the Law Society’s Continuing Development Scheme and the General Council of the Bar’s New Practitioners’ Programme and Established Practitioners’ Programme
Details of nearby hotels are available from the office. Name changes are accepted up until the time of the event. Delegates who advise IER of their cancellation more than 15 working days in advance will receive a credit note with 10% deduction for administration.
How to get there
Nearest stations are: Kings Cross and St Pancras (tube and British Rail)
IER subscribers and members £45.00
Trade unions £60.00
Register for this Seminar