You must set out your answer in a report format. Your answer should be of about 1,800 words. Remember that you must submit your work via Turnitin.
Remember to put your name on your actual report.
A. Explain how the Working Time Directive (WTD)of the European Union represents a necessary health and safety measure which protects workers. What are its main provisions? Explain how this Directive seeks to protect workers. Give some examples to illustrate your points.
B. Does this directive enhance integration across the European single labour market? If so explain how?
C. Does the reality of the implementation of the EU’s Working Time Directive threaten to undermine the construction of a single European labour market by allowing some social dumping? Illustrate your answer.
You must answer all 3 parts. As a rough guide part A carries roughly 70% of the marks and parts B & C roughly 30%.
Do not include – an “Executive summary”, Contents Page or Cover Page.
Do include a short sharp and concise introduction and end with a summary paragraph with your conclusion – these will have to be supported by the evidence and arguments in the body of the report and not be merely flat assertions that X “should” happen.
Read the EU’s Working Time Directive. In addition to your text book Look at the TUC ETUC Business Europe and EurActiv sites for commentaries.
Don’t forget to put your name on the actual report.
Consider the following criteria when writing your report.
clear, accurate and relevant to question set and supported by appropriate use of evidence and examples;
effective organisation and prioritisation of material; clear and logical analysis with theory used to advance the analysis;
ability to write clearly in a recognised academic style, which is suitable for report writing;
ability to reference appropriately – You MUST use quotation marks for the words of other writers.
European Union’s Working Time Directive
The European Union’s Working Time Directive is one of the key regulatory legislations aimed at promoting good employment practices, with consideration of the health and working conditions of the workers across EU’s member states. Nevertheless, the implications of implementing this regulation among the member states are questionable considering the differences in the internal environments of the member states. This paper seeks to understand the scope of the WTD and its implications on the establishment of a single labour market.
The European Union working time directive has been well embraced in the various countries under EU as a regulation for workers, which allows for the limiting of the time works are given today. Integration of the European single market is one of the major issues that is being currently propelled by the European Union. The working time directive enhances such efforts as it spreads the amount of work that is available among EU’s members states thus establishing a mentally and physically workforce as well as creating more jobs (Lapavitsas, 2012, p. 22). By reducing the number of hours that individuals are to work within a day, the WTD allows for the employment of other individuals to promote shift changing (Cini & Borragan, 2016, p. 404). Such opportunities for employment are open not only to members within the member states but across the entire EU, such a French worker can be employed by an English firm.
On the other hand, as much as the WTD protects workers and third parties from devastating health outcomes and heavy workloads, a highly important function of the directive is that it limits downwards working condition’s competition (Arrowsmith & Pulignano, 2013, p. 8). In the context of Europeanizing and globalization of the labour markets, it is necessary to have national and cross-border unambiguous and clear minimum standards, which do not have opt-outs, to promote fair competition by providing a bottom, and support the employees for open markets and boarders (Davies, 2012, p. 63). Case in point, by establishing decent pay levels, the WTD establishes an important precondition for safety and health protection that would prevent excessive pressure on employees to accept unjust and unhealthy conditions of work (Jäger & Springler, 2015, p. 171).
It is certain that the reality of the implementation of the EU’s WTD threatens to undermine the construction of a single European labour market by creating room for social dumping. As noted, the WTD creates a level ground for all EU member states in terms of working hours and conditions for the workers. Nevertheless, open trade in terms of the single labour market may grant a competitive advantage to firms from member states that are less-regulated, as the costs incurred by the firms are lower in cases where they fail to offer their workers protection or they facilitate environmental pollution (Bernaciak, 2015, p. 134). As such, there is no trust among the national governments, workers, businesses, and regulators, making it difficult for a single market to be established (Noon, et al., 2013, p. 27). Case in point, there is heightened fear among French trade unions that produces from Eastern and Central Europe, with lower labour costs, may enter their markets and take away their jobs.
However, without strong rules against pollution, countries that have protections that are less taxing would have an added advantage over those with highly onerous protections as the former could, for instance, employ energy sources that are cheaper yet more polluting (Kristiansen, et al., 2015, p. 52). Organizations within the countries that are highly regulated are likely to embrace social dumping, whereby they outsource their activities to companies from less-regulated countries, where minimal costs will be incurred even with implementation of the WTD (Cabrelli, 2014, p. 291; Bähr, 2010, p. 145). Such views of the contrasting benefits that are to be reaped from the single labour market by the member states undermines any efforts towards establishment of such a market even as some members, especially the important highly developed countries, anticipate less benefits than others.
In conclusion, it is clear
that the Working Time Directive as established by the European Union seeks to
limit the working hours of the employees in view of protecting them from
tedious work schedules that may jeopardize their health and safety. The WTD
plays a key role in the integration of the single labour market as it promotes
creation of more job opportunities among the member states given that the
available work is spread and the demand for more individuals to ensure proper
changes in shifts increases. On the other hand, establishment of a single
labour market among EU’s member states is threatened by the WTD, considering
the inequalities between the member states in terms of internal regulations as
such inequalities create room for social dumping.
Arrowsmith, J. & Pulignano, V., 2013. The Transformation of Employment Relations in Europe: Institutions and Outcomes in the Age of Globalization. 1st ed. Abingdon: Routledge.
Bähr, H., 2010. The Politics of Means and Ends: Policy Instruments in the European Union. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
Bernaciak, M., 2015. Market Expansion and Social Dumping in Europe. 1st ed. Abingdon: Routledge.
Cabrelli, D., 2014. Employment Law in Context: Text and Materials. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cini, M. & Borragan, N. P.-S., 2016. European Union Politics. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Davies, A. C. L., 2012. EU Labour Law. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Jäger, J. & Springler, E. eds., 2015. Asymmetric Crisis in Europe and Possible Futures: Critical Political Economy and Post-Keynesian Perspectives. 1st ed. Abingdon: Routledge.
Kristiansen, J., Tilly, H. & Maier, L., 2015. Europe and the Nordic Collective-Bargaining Model: The Complex Interaction between Nordic and European Labour Law. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.
Lapavitsas, C., 2012. Crisis in the Eurozone. 1st ed. London: Verso.
Noon, M., Blyton, P. & Morrell, K., 2013. The Realities of Work: Experiencing Work and Employment in Contemporary Society. 4th ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan.