European Committee Of Social Rights Report – Summary

imagesBy Mick Carty
National Policy Officer – RMT

Here is a summary of trade union rights related conclusions from the European Committee of Social Rights report on the UK in 2014. Full document available here

Article 5 – Right to organise

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 5 of the 1961 Charter, on the ground that legislation which makes it unlawful for a trade union to indemnify an individual union member for a penalty imposed for an offence or contempt of court, and which severely restricts the grounds on which a trade union may lawfully discipline members, represent unjustified incursions into the autonomy of trade unions.

Article 6 – Right to bargain collectively

Paragraph 1 – Joint consultation

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is in conformity with Article

6§1 of the 1961 Charter.

Article 6 – Right to bargain collectively

Paragraph 2 – Negotiation procedures

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 6§2 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that workers and trade unions do not have the right to bring legal proceedings in the event that employers offer financial incentives to induce workers to exclude themselves from collective bargaining.

Article 6 – Right to bargain collectively

Paragraph 3 – Conciliation and arbitration

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is in conformity with Article 6§3 of the 1961 Charter.

Article 6 – Right to bargain collectively

Paragraph 4 – Collective action

Conclusion 24: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 6§4 of the 1961 Charter on the grounds that:

  • the possibilities for workers to defend their interests through lawful collective action are excessively limited;
  • the requirement to give notice to an employer of a ballot on industrial action is excessive;
  • the protection of workers against dismissal when taking industrial action is insufficient.

Article 2 – Right to just conditions of work

Paragraph 2 – Public holidays with pay

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 2§2 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that the right of all workers to public holidays with pay is not guaranteed.

Article 2 – Right to just conditions of work

Paragraph 3 – Annual holiday with pay

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is in conformity with Article 2§3 of the 1961 Charter.

Article 2 – Right to just conditions of work

Paragraph 4 – Elimination of risks in dangerous or unhealthy occupations

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 2§4 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that it has not been established that workers exposed to occupational health risks, despite the existing risk elimination policy, are entitled to appropriate compensation measures.

Article 2 – Right to just conditions of work

Paragraph 5 – Weekly rest period

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 2§5 of the 1961 Charter, on the ground that there are inadequate safeguards to prevent that workers may work for more than twelve consecutive days without a rest period.

Article 4 – Right to a fair remuneration

Paragraph 1 – Decent remuneration

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 4§1 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that the minimum wage applicable to workers in the private sector does not secure a decent standard of living.

Article 4 – Right to a fair remuneration

Paragraph 2 – Increased remuneration for overtime work

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 4§2 of the Charter on the ground that workers do have no adequate legal guarantees to ensure them increased remuneration for overtime.

Article 4 – Right to a fair remuneration

Paragraph 4 – Reasonable notice of termination of employment

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 4§4 of the 1961 Charter on the ground that notice periods are inadequate below three years of service.

Article 4 – Right to a fair remuneration

Paragraph 5 – Limits to wage deductions

Conclusion: The Committee concludes that the situation in the United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 4§5 of the 1961 Charter, on the grounds that:

  • it has not been established that the limits on deductions from wages equivalent to the National Minimum Wage are reasonable;
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