What's at stake? - unionstogether

What's at stake?


These are some of the rights that are guaranteed for all workers in Europe. If we leave the EU, we lose the guarantee to all these rights.

How many times have we heard Tories talk about cutting red tape on business? Would you trust the Tories to protect all these rights if they didn't have to?

Essential employment rights


Right to written terms and conditions and job description.

All employees are entitled to written notification of their terms and conditions of employment, including: place of work, pay, job title, job description, leave entitlement and notice periods. Employees must be notified of changes to these terms in writing.

Right to be consulted about changes at work.

European law means that workers (in organisations of at least 50 people) have the right to be informed and formally consulted about the situation at work. 

The right to the same terms and conditions if you are transferred to a new employer.

If a new owner takes over your employer, employees have the legal right to transfer to the new employer on their existing terms and conditions of employment. They cannot lose their job just because their employer has been taken over by someone else.

Equal rights for part-time and agency workers.

European law gives equal rights at work to all workers, whether full-time, part-time or employed through an agency. 

Right to time off, breaks and holidays


The right to breaks in the working day.

European law means that anyone working 6 hours or more is entitled to at least one uninterrupted 20 minute break.

The right to at least one day off a week.

European law guarantees the right to at least 24 hours off work, uninterrupted, every week.

The right to at least four weeks paid leave.

The Working Time Directive guarantees every employee the right to four weeks paid holiday a year (plus bank holidays).

Right to time off for urgent family reasons.

Parents have the right to time off work for urgent family reasons.

The right to parental leave.

Parents of children under five have the right to up to 18 weeks leave to spend with their children. This is in addition to maternity and paternity leave rights. 

Health and safety protections at work


Employers have to protect their employees' health and safety at work.

Employers are legally obliged to ensure the health and safety of their workers. That includes undertaking risk assessments, acting to minimise risks, informing workers of any risks, and consulting on health and safety with employees and their representatives.

Rights for health and safety representatives.

Trade Union health and safety reps have certain key rights protected by European Law. This includes the right to ask the employer to make changes to protect workers’ health and safety, and protection from unfair treatment by their employer for carrying out their duties.

Rules protecting children and young people’s health and safety at work.

Employers have to take special measures to protect young people and children at work. Children can only be employed doing ‘light work’.

Protection from discrimination at work


Protection from discrimination or harassment at work.

European law guarantees the right not to be discriminated against or harassed in employment on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, whether directly or indirectly. It also specifically protects people from being discriminated against, or harassed, at work because of their gender.

Rights for disabled people.

European law spells out the right for disabled people to expect their employers to make reasonable adjustments at work.

Rights for mums


The right not to be sacked for being pregnant.

European law states that women cannot be sacked for being pregnant.

Protection when coming back to work after maternity leave.

Women are guaranteed the right to come back to work after maternity leave on the same pay and terms and conditions as before their leave started.

Right to time off for ante-natal appointments.

Pregnant women are entitled to time off work to attend ante-natal appointments.

Health and safety protection for pregnant women, and new and breastfeeding mums.

European law means that employers have to do an assessment of any health risks to mums or babies when an employee tells them they are pregnant. Pregnant women or breastfeeding mums are entitled to be moved off duties that might pose a health risk. Pregnant women and new mums cannot be made to work night shifts.

Now you know what's at stake, are you IN?


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