European Business Law

Topics: Discrimination, European Union, United Kingdom Pages: 8 (2188 words) Published: April 26, 2013
European Business Task 1
Richard Wilson
Kandis Watson

Contents pages

Introduction Page 1

Equal pay Page 2-3

Equal treatment in employment (Race and ethnicity) Page 4-5

Employee’s rights during parental leave Page 6-7

Conclusion Page 7-8

Bibliography Page 9-10


The EU is made up of 27 member states and has a combined population of 490 million. It was created shortly after world war two to foster economic coop-oration, believing countries that trade with one another, are economically interdependent, and therefore avoiding further wars. Since the creation of the EU, legislation acts have evolved leading to positive and negative integration between the member states including employment rights for workers and anti discrimination laws within society. This means that British business therefore must abide by these regulations imposed by EU law or face sanctions which could be detrimental financially or too their reputation.

The purpose of this report is to critically analyse the effect EU policies have on businesses within the U.K. A discussion into the employment rights and social policy’s enforced by EU law will be undertaken, highlighting the importance and the impact they have on British businesses. The report will primarily focus on Equal pay rights for men and women, equal treatment in employment and occupation based on race and ethnicity and an employee’s right to leave due to parental or family reasons. An in depth analysis will be undertaken using examples showing how each one directly affects U.K corporations. A discussion into the driving forces behind each law and the sanctions imposed should businesses fail to abide.

Equal pay rights

The EU law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex in relation to pay, entitling both men and women to be paid equal amounts for work of equal value. Equal pay was adopted as a core principle of the European Union in the treaty of Rome in 1957 (Goldberg 2003). It was stated in this treaty that ‘Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas including employment, work and pay’. However to this day woman are unfairly rewarded for their work compared to their male counterparts. ‘Every day woman in Europe experience one of the most deep-rooted injustices – being paid less than a man for equal work’ (Earle 2011). It is currently calculated that women in Europe, on average earn 17.5% less than men (Earle 2011). This lead to woman across Europe becoming increasing angry at their unfair treatment and demanding to be paid fairly. This originates from undervaluing women’s work, occupational segregation and discrimination within pay systems. Therefore when the U.K joined the European Union in 1973, by law, all British businesses had to cooperate with the legislations which had been previously passed. However In 1982 the European court declared that the U.K was in breach of its obligations regarding the treaty (Grant 2002). This was for ‘Failing to introduce into its national legal system the necessary measures for the implementation of equal pay directive’ (Hunt 1998). The national government was forced to amend its laws regarding implementations against those businesses who didn’t abide.

This has affected U.K businesses widely with the equal pay legislation enforced by the European Union. An example of this is the principle of transparency which is required, allowing all pay systems to be clear and easy to understand for employees. ‘A transparent pay...
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