A study of the implementation of the Acquired Rights Directive in the United Kingdom and other member states of the European Community.

Sargeant, Malcolm (1997) A study of the implementation of the Acquired Rights Directive in the United Kingdom and other member states of the European Community. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

The Council Directive on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings. businesses or parts of businesses was approved by the Council of Ministers on February 14 1977. It fell to be transposed into national law within two years. In 1979 the Labour Government in the United Kingdom was defeated and a new Conservative Government assumed office. In 1981 the Government transposed the Directive into UK law with great reluctance. Thus a flawed European Directive was transposed into inadequate Regulations by a reluctant Government. The advent of the Conservative party to power resulted in a change in Government policy away from partnership with the representatives of employees and employers to a policy of de-regulation and an attack on the strength of the trade unions. A series of Employment Acts during the 1980s transformed industrial relations within the country. Within this changing environment the Acquired Rights Directive appeared as a paradox, as its intention was to increase protection available to employees in the event of a transfer. At the same time the European Court of Justice gradually defined and widened the scope of protection offered by the Directive. The changing nature of industrial relations in the United Kingdom has been in contrast to that of other Member States of the European Community which are studied here. These Member States are examined as a contrast to the UK approach. Additionally the European Community has been developing its relationship with the representatives of employees and employers. There has been a process of creating a social dialogue at Community level and the role of the social partners has been of increasing importance. A central theme of this thesis is that it is this contrast between the approach of the Community and Member States, on the one hand, to the approach of the United Kingdom, on the other, that has contributed to the problems experienced with the Directive. It is likely that problems will also occur with the new Acquired Rights Directive unless there is a short term change of approach by the United Kingdom. In the longer term, it is argued, there needs to be an acceptance by the Community of the diversity of the Member States so that any such conflicts can be avoided in the future.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:Theses
School of Law > Law
ID Code:8026
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Deposited On:22 Jul 2011 05:53
Last Modified:21 Jul 2014 02:51

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