Brexit factsheet 11: Workers’ rights come from the UK, not the EU

The EU doesn’t even have minimum wage legislation

    

Brexit Factsheet no.11 © Brexit Facts4EU.Org. Click right image for the one-page factsheet.

It isn't the EU that has been responsible for improved workers' rights

One of the many myths about the EU is that it has been responsible for the minimum statutory workers' rights and women’s rights enjoyed in the UK today. The truth is very different.

This one-pager on workers' and women's rights gives readers some basic facts.
You can download this information as a simple, one-page PDF leaflet

Or you can read it below. We hope you find it useful.

This is factsheet no.11 in our Brexit Fightback Initiative.


Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Workers’ & women's rights come from the UK, not the EU

The EU doesn’t even have minimum wage legislation

Factsheet No.11 – Workers' and women's rights - 09 Nov 2019
From official EU and UK Government sources, for MPs and for ordinary members of the public

One of the many myths about the EU is that it has been responsible for the minimum statutory workers' rights and women’s rights enjoyed in the UK today. The truth is very different.

1.    There is no EU statutory right to a minimum wage

  • Within EU treaties, laws, directives, & regulations, there is no requirement to have a minimum wage
  • Six EU countries don’t have one at all (Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland, Sweden)
  • Where they exist, the uneven playing field has Latvia at the bottom, with Luxembourg’s almost 5 times higher
  • The UK is seventh on the list, with its own legislation since 1998

2.    EU healthcare rights are way below UK standards

  • Healthcare in the EU is generally not free – most people pay for top-up private insurance
  • In many countries you pay, and get only partially reimbursed later
  • In France it costs £26 just for 5 minutes with your GP, paid at the time
  • With the UK’s NHS, treatment is free at the point of delivery

3.    EU workers’ rights laws are lower than UK’s

  • UK statutory paid holiday entitlement is 28 days, in EU only 20 days
  • UK National Minimum Wage Act 1998 – there's no minimum wage in the EU
  • ‘Statutory maternity pay’ – UK: up to 39 weeks, EU: 14 weeks. UK employees can take up to 52 weeks’ leave
  • Under EU laws, the Britons’ rights would only decrease

4.    UK established workers’ rights long before EU

  • “Protection against sex, race and disability discrimination in the UK pre-dated EU law” (from TUC report)
  • Women’s rights: Equal Pay Act, Abortion Act and Divorce Reform Act were all passed before UK even joined EU
  • Sex Discrimination Act, Domestic Violence Act, Employment Protection Act – no EU involvement
  • EU’s Posted Workers Directive means EU workers can be employed in UK for fraction of the cost of UK workers

5.    Finally, workers’ rights are only relevant if you have work

  • In the Eurozone, austerity has taken the jobs of millions of workers
  • You’re almost twice as likely to be out of work in the EU27
  • An entire young generation across southern Europe has been devastated by 30-50% unemployment for years

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org. (Click chart to enlarge)

In all the workers' and women's rights above, the UK's statutory arrangements are better than those which would be applicable under EU law

[ Sources: Hansard, EC Working Time Directive 93/104/EC, TUC report 2016 on Workers’ Rights, EU Commission, Competences between UK and EU Social and Employment Policy (UK Gov’t), National Minimum Wage Act, EU Parliament report Mar 2019 ]

Researched and produced by Brexit Facts4EU.Org. Endorsed independently by 10 Brexit organisations, 09 Nov 2019.


Endorsed by TEN Brexit organisations with big reach

We are pleased to tell readers that we have received endorsements for this factsheet from nine other Brexit organisations, each acting independently. With us that makes TEN.

© Logos are the copyright of each organisation

These are: Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Alliance of British Entrepreneurs, Get Britain Out, Economists for Free Trade, Fishing for Leave, Global Britain, Campaign for an Independent Britain, Scots for Leave, Green Leaves, and Veterans for Britain. We recommend visiting their websites and following them on Twitter and Facebook, if you haven't already done so.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click for full-size PDF version

Further action: This factsheet follows on from the first ten factsheets in the ‘Brexit Fightback Initiative’. More factsheets are coming, as soon as we get enough donations to continue. In the meantime we hope that readers will do everything they can to promote them.

We would like to thank the following readers for their specific support of the Brexit Fightback Initiative

VIP Sponsors (£100 donation or more): Geoffrey Burwood, Barbara Jell, David Hurlbut, Jon from Wales, Patrick Ford, Michael Garland, Sydney Ashurst, Keith Hartrick, Michael Donnan, Ann Donnan, Philip Jackson, John M, Richard Lark

Gold Sponsors (From £50 donation): Linda Thorpe, Margaret Dennis, David Warren, Jean Shaw, Frank Wilman,

Sponsors (From £10 donation): Nigel Wright, Jennifer Sayer, Ian Etheridge, Christine Baxendale, Mick Davies, Mel, Kevin Burrell, DM Hedley, Elaine Grant, Patrick Lane, Maureen Cooper, Rob Dilly, Geoffrey Bastin, Elizabeth Ford, Gary Bruce, R Livingstone, Peter Richardson, Peter Agate, Steve Hutchinson, Michael Wood, Phillip Bater, Paul Musgrove, Raymond Beerling, Rod Pudney, Chris Walmsley, Julian Eagle, David Lucas, Catherine Gandolfi, Patricia Bailey, Paul Gladwin, Tim Groves, Stuart Cooper, Stuart Andrews, Melissa Campbell, Paul Nevard, Chris Magness, Mrs M Pedlar

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Want to see all factsheets in this series? Click here!

Observations

We have one fundamental question for Remainers like Mr Corbyn's Labour Party who try to pretend that workers' rights protections come from the EU.

Aside from the fact that they don't - as we have shown above - why on earth can't we decide these things for ourselves? Why insist that people whom we can't vote in or out, from other countries, should decide these things for us? Where's the democratic oversight and control in that?

General points

Once again Brexit Facts4EU.Org has summarised the results of our years of research and articles into a simple one-pager for the public and for MPs. And this factsheet has been endorsed by ten major Brexit organisations, including us.

By the very nature of a one-pager it is impossible to include all the facts we have published over the past few years. In common with the other factsheets in this series we have looked at facts which we believe are of most interest.

As ever, Remainer MPs and campaigners will say “Oh but what about xyz?” Our response is simple. First, answer the abc’s.

This is the eleventh in the Brexit Fightback Initiative series of one-pagers and we desperately need to get the rest completed, endorsed, and promoted. Other subjects will include another Defence paper and other fundamental areas where we have powerful arguments to make. They will contain official facts and figures, and simple charts, to illustrate the points at a glance.

We are very grateful to readers who have supported the Brexit Fightback Initiative with donations. We need more readers to become Sponsors if we are to complete this essential task urgently.

We are inviting readers to help by becoming a Sponsor (£10 donation), a Gold Sponsor (£50 donation), or a VIP Sponsor (£100 and above). We will not publish your name unless you give express permission, naturally, and your contact details are never used.

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Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

[ Sources: Hansard, EC Working Time Directive 93/104/EC, TUC report 2016 on Workers’ Rights, EU Commission, Competences between UK and EU Social and Employment Policy (UK Gov’t), National Minimum Wage Act, EU Parliament report Mar 2019 ]
- Brexit Facts4EU.Org, 05 Nov 2019

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