What has the EU ever done for us? | Blog | Paul Doran Law

Belfast Office
12 Carnmoney Road
County Antrim BT36 6HN

Leeds Office
West One
114 Wellington Street
West Yorkshire

London Office
124 City Road
London EC1V 2NX

Newcastle Office
Gear House
Saltmeadows Road
Tyne and Wear NE8 3AH

Telephone: 0808 1687 288
Email: enquiries@pauldoranlaw.com

What has the EU ever done for us?

With the forthcoming referendum asking whether the UK should remain in or leave the European Union, we have considered the impact that the EU has had on workers’ rights over the past few decades. Although some legal analysts have suggested that the impact of leaving the EU will do little to erode workers rights, there can be no denying the impact on workers rights that has been caused by the EU since the UK joined in 1972.

Some key examples are set out below:

The Working Time Directive

The WTD led to the introduction of the Working Time Regulations 1998 which guarantees workers the following rights:

Equal Pay

Equal pay between men and women for equal work is one of the core principles of the EU and is a right directly enforceable in the UK courts.

Although the Equal Pay Act 1970 (provisions now contained in the Equality Act 2010) came into force in 1975, a series of decisions by the Court of Justice have significantly widened the scope of the legislation.

Initially, UK law only permitted a woman to compare herself with a man who was doing a similar job or was on the same grade. The ECJ held that this did not go far enough. Following an amendment, comparisons are now permitted where it can be shown the work of the man and woman is equal in value.

This allows women employed in jobs such as Cleaners, Cooks, Care Assistants or Teaching Assistants to compare themselves with completely different jobs such as Refuse Collectors, Road Sweepers and Gardeners even where the employer has failed to carry out a job evaluation study.

Other challenges to the UK legislation led to ECJ rulings that it was unlawful to pay part time workers less than full time colleagues as this indirectly discriminated against women and that casual staff as well as permanent staff were entitled to equal pay.

Crucially, the court also held that the 2-year cap on awards of back pay was not enough of a deterrent leading to this being extended to 6 years.

Discrimination Rights

The EU Framework Directive from 2000 led to the publication of regulations that, for the first time, made it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, age and religion or belief in the workplace.

In addition, the ECJ also confirmed that gender reassignment discrimination was a form of sex discrimination that would be covered by existing legislation and allowed a mother, who was a carer, to successfully claim associative disability discrimination due to the treatment she suffered as a result of her young sons disability.

In the 1990’s, the ECJ would also change the landscape of discrimination law forever by finding that a statutory cap on discrimination cases was contrary to EU law. From this point all, compensation in discrimination cases would be unlimited.

Maternity Rights

The Pregnant Workers Directive requires employers to provide paid time off for ante-natal appointments and to carry out risk assessments and reassign or suspend on paid leave if the potential for harm is identified.

The European Court of Justice has also confirmed that pregnancy discrimination is direct sex discrimination removing the need for a pregnant woman who has suffered discrimination from having to identify a comparator to proceed with a claim.

Parental Leave Rights

The Parental Leave Directive 1996 for the first time allowed workers the right to be absent from work to care for young children (‘parental leave’) and all employees the right to take time off work to care for dependents in the event of family emergencies. The amount of parental leave was increased in 2013 from 13 weeks to 18 weeks per chil.

In addition, the EU has afforded rights to fixed term workers, agency workers and employees whose employment has been transferred to another employer (i.e. TUPE). It is questionable as to whether any such rights would be available to workers in the UK without the intervention of Europe.

Whilst it is a matter of debate as to whether any (or all) of these rights would be eroded over time should the UK vote to leave, we can say with some certainty that had it not been for membership of the EU then the rights currently afforded to workers would be considerably narrower than they stand at present.

The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition chose to cap unfair dismissal claims to a maximum of one years’ salary. Members of the Conservative party have also made noises in the past about capping discrimination claims. EU law currently prohibits this.

Need help?

For a FREE assessment of your claim, call 0808 168 7288 or fill in the contact form on the top right of this page.

We have already helped thousands of people to win millions of pounds in compensation.

See what they say

You have a choice of ways to pay, including ‘no win, no fee’.

Browse funding options

We will also discuss the best methods of funding your case and seek to reach a solution that best suits your needs. This can involve a “no-win, no-fee” agreement if appropriate.

Back to all news

Share Article With:

Call us on
0808 1687288
or fill in this
Free Online Enquiry

(no cost or obligation)

We will only use the information you provide to handle your enquiry, and we will never share it with any third parties.

What Our Clients Say

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

My experience has been a very professional one. The case ran smoothly from the get go. I was always kept in the loop. Dinah T

Up to date information. Easy to contact. Knowledgeable solicitor. No win without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice, would recommend. Ken S

Efficient and helpful. Takes the claimant points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. I would highly recommend them as professionals to others and have a lot of faith in their advice. David R

Although a lengthy case I have been constantly updated throughout. Susan R

Paul answered me promptly, was very helpful and advised me what to do. Winifred P

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communication. Friendly and professional. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person, he made sure I was kept up to date as my case progressed and was always supportive when I got the jitters. He was very diligent and methodical whilst representing me. Iain M

Professional approach and positive attitude. Shirley M

Competent and efficient and very pleasant to deal with. Cloda McN

Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

Very helpful. Emma McA

Satisfied with service. Susan H

Very satisfied with the professional way case was handled. Evelyn H

Staff and solicitor very helpful at all times. Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously, and in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

My experience using Paul was very professional at all times. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Straight forward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result, Paul did a lot of work. Thank you. Lyn E

Felt at ease and was listened to; got excellent advice. Gemma D

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed on the situation. Lytreena D

Outstanding, friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

Very professional and always left valued as a client. I feel that the company has worked very hard to get me a good result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard, after which the process was then easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

Confident in representation. June B

Very happy with all aspects of my experience from initial contact to finish. Andrew B

Understanding and very prompt. Michelle W

Completely professional, and secured a settlement beyond my expectations. Cormac was exceptional – very many thanks. Joan W

Very happy with results. Very grateful for all Paul and his team have done for me. I feel valued as a client, my questions were always answered very quickly. Thank you. Anna V

Very good, professional. Amida S

Always responsive, courteous and supportive. Would recommend to friends and family without hesitation. David S

Easy and efficient and professional at all times. Stephanie R

Very good. Yusuf O

Excellent, efficient and prompt legal advice. Very satisfied with service provided. Lisa N

It took me a long time to find a solicitor who would support my case. I’m so glad I found Paul Doran Law who brought me success. Shirley N

I have had a very pleasant experience using Paul Doran Law and would definitely use again. Rebecca McM

The service was always informative, dignified and respectful. Chloe McL

I would definitely recommend. Colleen McB

Cormac was excellent from start to finish. I have already recommended him to friends and family. Sam M

Paul Doran Law were professional and very concerned about my feelings and what I had been through. I felt that they cared. Lisa M

Professional, helpful, very knowledgeable. Highly recommended. Bekki M

I found Cormac very compassionate and was always there as I had a lot of queries. Stephen McG

Impressed with accessibly, speed of response and professionalism. Edna L

Cormac was very professional and reassuring at all times. Kat K

Great, a good experience. Thank you. Mary K

Professional, efficient and friendly. Tabitha K

Very well treated throughout. I was always listened to and my questions answered. Allan H

I found Mr Rice to be professional, amiable and my overall experience was a positive one. Marcel G

I received valued information initially and came back later to receive a very satisfactory outcome. Lyn F

Put at ease very early on which helped me feel less stress. Harry D

I can’t thank you enough. I am so glad with the outcome and will recommend you. Christopher B

Cormac was great. Tom B

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. Shelia H

This claim has been handled professionally and without delays. I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Should the need arise I would definitely use Paul Doran’s services again. Suzie U

Any queries were answered quickly with detailed responses.  Sharon H

Everything was written very simply and in plain English which was good. Sylvia B

When time lines have been set, they have been met. I did not just feel like a case number. Karen S

When I emailed, Paul replied straight away.Very friendly and easy to talk to. Rita C

Paul was very thorough and helpful and successfully brought my case to an end. Margaret C

I feel strongly that Paul cares about clients. Pamela R

Paul was very reasonable and fair regarding the fees deducted from my claim offer I was awarded. Deborah McM

Very professional all the way through the process. Sharon C

I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and highly professional. Stephanie W

Well informed and easy to contact. I wouldn’t have won my case without him. Audrey S

Very good. Always stayed within the timescales given. Sound advice. Would recommend. Ken S

Efficient. Helpful. Take the clients points into consideration. Angela R

Paul Doran Law has been extremely helpful and supportive in very difficult circumstances. David R

Although a lengthy case, I have been constantly updated throughout. Jenny R

Professional and efficient service with helpful and friendly staff. Susan R

My case was handled professionally and my solicitor was very understanding and quick to respond. Eleanor P

Paul was very helpful and friendly. Adrian M

Cormac is a very reassuring person. He was very supportive when I got the jitters. Iain M

Kept going when it did not good and achieved a successful outcome. Shirley M

Competent, efficient and very pleasant to deal with. Cloda McN

Cormac deserves a salary for counselling alone! Lesley A

Cormac explained my options and talked me through each step and advised me of the best possible outcome. Gerard McL

They were quick to get things sorted. Emma McA

Very satisfied with the outcome to my case. Evelyn H

Solicitor very knowledgeable and took my case and concerns seriously in a very professional manner. Deborah H

Friendly, efficient and very professional. Charlotte G

I liked the personal touch. I received phone calls with updates instead of relying on letters all of the time. Sharon C

Very friendly and competent service. Peter G

Very professional. Kept me up to date at all times throughout the process. Blanche G

Straightforward service which is exactly what I needed. Paula F

Good end result. Paul did a lot of work. Lyn E

Very professional and always willing to help and offer advice when needed. Lytreena D

Very pleasant manner from staff and solicitors. Sara C

Outstanding. Friendly service from start to finish. Matthew C

I feel the company worked very hard to get the result. Christine C

From day one there was a plan of action. I feel I was listened to and heard after which to prove the case got easy. Kanta C

I would highly recommend. Karen B

Very good overall service. Judith B

Very happy with all aspects of my experience from initial contact to finish. Andrew B

Very professional, friendly and efficient. Kept me informed throughout the process. Paula F

Very professional. I always felt valued as a client Christine C

Paul was extremely professional and efficient Lesley A

Outstanding – friendly service from start to finish Matthew C

Paul Doran was very helpful during my communications, friendly & professional. Adrian M

I found right from the beginning Paul was very friendly and easy to ask questions at any time. Rita C

Paul is prompt, friendly and approachable. I liked how he was committed to my case and kept me informed. Judith P

I appreciate the thorough and expedient manner to which the task was completed. Barbara H

I feel Paul really cares about his clients and works to get the best outcome and justice for them.  Elaine S

My claim has been handled professionaly and without delays.  I am totally satisfied. Kelly L

Paul’s legal service is professional and thorough. Sharon H

I entrusted him with something that was very important to me and he did not let me down. Deborah McM

I was in contact with Paul on many occasions and all queries were dealt with personally and politely. Judith C

It has been a pleasure using Paul Doran Law. I would recommend him to friends and family. Sylvia B

Cormac was an absolute pleasure to work with – very polite, helpful, and thoughtful. Jessica D

Paul was polite and considerate and efficient. I would highly recommend this firm Geraldine A

I have been very impressed by the industry knowledge and the level of service provided. Nuala M

Quick, honest and responsive.

J Chambers

The service provided has been delivered beyond expectation.

K L Stokoe

Recommend without reservation.

J Taylor

If Paul had not taken on my case, I would not have received monies owed to me. E Shefford

I would recommend Paul’s legal service as it is professional and thorough. S Hall

View more testimonials

Why Choose Us?

  • We only work for employees
  • 25+ Years' Experience
  • No Win, No Fee available
  • Insurance to protect against Tribunal fees