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Sources of Terms of Employment Contract in European Law

Updated on February 8, 2022
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Nyamweya is a global researcher with many years of experience on practical research on a diversity of topics

The labor law in European Union is largely derived from the states that constitute the union. The law, which is contained in various single statutes, is unified in a code of labor law for all members of the EU except France which uses its own statutes in matters pertaining to employment. The International Labor Organization is another source of the terms governing employment contract in EU. Accordingly, all members of the European Community are expected to comply with the agreements and laws found in the International Labor Organization which are ratified. However, it should be noted that the agreements contained in the International Labor Organization may not be relied upon as domestic laws of the members of the European community. Nonetheless, member states are obliged to incorporate the agreements of the ILO in their national laws. Members of the European community are also expected to commit themselves to the European Social Charter as well as the commitments enshrined at the European Convention on Human Rights both of which are instituted by the Council of Europe.

b) Employees law duties/Obligations

Under the European community law, employee’s common law duty include adhering to the work discipline stipulated by the employer and ensuring that he or she reports to work as stated in the terms of contract. Further, the employee is expected to duly accomplish the task as set out by the employer.

Employees have also a duty to perform what any reasonable employee could do in any given context. They also have an obligation of being honest, not to unnecessarily interrupt the operation of the business by for instance taking part in illegal industrial action, as well as disclose any wrong doing done by him/her or other employees. Additionally, employees are also required to adhere to employer’s orders that are whenever they are legal, keep the employer’s confidentiality, maintain the employer’s property and keep it safe.

c) Law Duties Involving Employers

The proof of the Employment Contract directive by the EU requires employers to ensure that the main points of employment contract are properly documented and a copy of which should be given to the employee not later than two months of his/her stay at the firm. The documentation should include the key terms of employment and all obligations which may consist of the requirement to work overtime by order of the employer.

Article 141 of the EC requires employers to respect the principal of equal pay and ensure that men and women working at the same capacity were remunerated equally. Further, employers must ensure equal representation of employees in their union at all levels. The EC further directs all employers not to discriminate any worker.

As it regards to the EC directive on Collective Redundancies, employers are expected to consult and inform employee representatives of the desire and reason for dismissing certain workers within a reasonable timeframe which is normally 30 days. For mass dismissal, the employer has to notify a competent public authority who will evaluate the situation and give a further directive on the same. Employers are also obligated to take into concern as much as possible an employee’s application to switch from a full time job into a part time. Similarly, employers are also mandated to facilitate employee’s switchover from part time to full time position. This requirement also extends to efforts of providing information relating to full time or part time employment positions that are available in the company and to inform the representatives accordingly.


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