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    It has been reported that David Cameron is seeking an opt-out on some of EU employment law as part of the referendum negotiations. It is suggested that he will seek to restore the opt out from the Working Time Directive and the Temporary Workers Directive (covering agency workers).

    Click here for article

    The government has published the draft Trade Union Bill and various consultation documents for reforms to the strike balloting laws my latest blog post.

    The main proposals are:-
    •industrial action will require a 50% turnout
    •40% of all eligible voters must vote in favour of industrial action which affects important public services
    •the ban on using agency staff to cover striking workers will be lifted
    •there will be a 4 month limit on a strike mandate, after which another ballot is required (this won’t apply to ballots taking place before the Act comes into force, assuming it is passed)
    •there will be more specific requirements for the wording of the ballot paper
    •banning automatic opt-ins to political donations from trade union subscription fees
    •the amount of notice of a strike to be given to an employer will be increased from 7 to 14 days.

    The consultation closes on 9 September 2015

    Trade Union Bill
    Hiring Agency Staff Consultation

    Acas has issued a guide for small employers which covers the basics of employment law on staff pay.

    According to Acas, the new guide can “help small and medium sized businesses stay on the right side of the law and ensure pay issues are handled correctly.”

    It covers matters such as how to pay new staff, different types of pay systems, wage slips, what to do during staff absences as well as wage deductions and overpayments. It breaks down the most common employment issues into a series of practical steps that a manager or supervisor can access at any time.

    Download your copy here!

    In a case before the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the Advocate General (AG) has given his opinion and set out that, “working time” under the Working Time Directive will cover the time travelling from home to a first assignment and from the last assignment back home for those workers who are not assigned to a fixed place of work.

    In this case (reference to the ECJ came from Spain) a group of workers drove to customers throughout Spain installing security systems. The AG’s opinion was that this time satisfied the three criteria of time where the worker is at work, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out his activity or duties, and should therefore be regarded as working time rather than a rest break.

    This is only an opinion of the AG and not binding on the ECJ but the ECJ do usually follow the opinion of the AG. Whether or not the ECJ follows the AG’s opinion, its decision should provide clarity in defining working time for mobile workers with no fixed workplace or “base”.

    We will keep you updated!

    (Federación de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco
    Integrated Security SL and another C-266/14.)

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