European employment law


Each European country operates a distinct system of employment law. At the same time, a significant body of European employment law has evolved over the last sixty years.

The EU sets down minimum requirements in European employment law. The EU proposes EU legislation that establishes legal minimum requirements that must be implemented into national laws. Once passed, the directives are immediately binding on EU member states, allowing people to bring claims against governments and other state employers, such as local councils. 

Individuals have the power to claim rights conferred directly by EU treaties, regulations, decisions and directives even if their member states have failed to introduce them into domestic law or have not implemented them correctly.

Additionally, the domestic court of an EU member state must interpret all national laws in the light of directives, even if the law in question was not based on the directive (except where an interpretation would 'run counter to the legitimate expectation of individuals' in a member state by distorting the words of a national statute).

What aspects of European employment law do EU Directives cover?

EU Directives cover issues including:

  • Discrimination
  • Equal pay
  • Health and safety
  • Redundancies
  • Privacy and data protection
  • Working time

Other areas which the EU is committed to supporting and complementing Member States include:

  • Protection of workers when their employment contract is terminated
  • Working conditions
  • Improvement of the working environment and protection of worker health and safety
  • Social security and social protection of workers
  • Conditions of employment for third-country nationals legally residing in the EU

If you would like to obtain legal advice on European employment law, then we can put you in touch with a local specialist European employment solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local European employment solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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