ETUC welcomes possible agreement on agency work in Council, based on equal treatment principle from day one

Brussels, 05/06/2008

The ETUC has written to the Slovenian Minister of Labour expressing its satisfaction with the proposals of the Slovenian presidency on the issue of equal treatment – the most contentious issue in the Directive which blocked progress until today. According to the ETUC, this new approach is an important step in the right direction, as it no longer introduces a general qualifying period before the equal treatment principle would apply, but instead only allows for derogation by collective agreement or -under specific conditions- by agreement between the national social partners.

ETUC would welcome an agreement in Council based on these new proposals, so long as no other proposals are adopted that would further weaken the draft text of the Directive.
This would be a very welcome signal that the deadlock in the development of social Europe is broken, and that social progress at EU level is both necessary and possible.

However, the ETUC warned the Slovenian presidency that a possible agreement on the draft Temporary agency Directive should not be used as an argument to adopt at the same time the revised Working Time Directive. The proposals for revision in their current form do not offer any social progress, and may even lower the level of protection provided, which is incompatible with the European Treaties. The ETUC opposes the linking of the two dossiers, and called on the Presidency to deal with both very important issues independently, and to ensure that decisions are made based on the merits of each dossier separately.

- Letter to the Slovenian Minister of Labour