22 June 2005
On 11 May 2005 (EU0505205F ), the plenary session of the European Parliament (EP) approved a 'first reading' legislative resolution  seeking substantial amendments to the European Commission’s draft Directive (EU0410205F ) on revision of the EU Directive concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time (originally adopted in 1993 and now consolidated in Directive 2003/88/EC ). On the most controversial issue - the future of the scope for individual employees to opt out of the 48-hour limit on average weekly working hours - the EP voted to impose a limit on the validity of such opt-outs to a (renewable) period of six months and to repeal the opt-out provisions altogether 36 months after the revised Directive comes into force.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/european-parliament-votes-to-end-opt-out-from-working-time-directive  http://www2.europarl.eu.int/omk/sipade2?PUBREF=-//EP//TEXT TA P6-TA-2005-0175 0 DOC XML V0//EN&LEVEL=3&NAV=X  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/commission-proposes-amendments-to-working-time-directive  http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=32003L0088&model=guichett
06 June 2005
On 17 May, the Queen’s Speech opening the new session of parliament following the UK general election (UK0504110F ), included a commitment by the re-elected Labour government to introduce a parental rights Bill to extend the rights of employees to time off work for parental and other caring responsibilities.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/parties-outline-contrasting-election-policies-on-employment-relations
30 May 2005
In early April 2005, the central EU-level social partners - the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of Europe/European Association of Craft and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UNICE/UEAPME) for the private sector employers, and the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP), representing public sector organisations - published a joint statement on the 'lessons learned' from a programme of seminars that considered case studies of the operation of European Works Councils (EWCs) in nine leading companies. The social partners have presented the statement to the European Commission and EU employment ministers.
08 May 2005
On 15 April 2005, the Department of Trade and Industry published its annual statistical report, Trade union membership 2004 , which is based on Labour Force Survey data for autumn 2004. Its key findings are summarised below.  http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/emar/trade.htm
29 April 2005
On 5 April 2005, the European Commission published a Communication (COM(2005) 120 final ) setting out measures to be developed or strengthened with the aim of ensuring 'improved anticipation and management of restructuring' within the EU.  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/news/2005/apr/com_restruct_en.pdf
21 April 2005
The incumbent Labour government has triggered a general election to be held on 5 May 2005 - more than a year earlier than required by law. Here we highlight what the three main UK-wide political parties’ election manifestos say on employment relations issues.
10 April 2005
On 20 March 2005, PSA Peugeot Citroën announced plans to cut 850 jobs at its Ryton plant near Coventry - almost one-third of the 2,800 workforce. The French car manufacturer is to scrap one of its three production shifts at the plant in response to declining sales of the Peugeot 206 which is made at the plant. The announcement follows hard on the heels of Ford’s decision to cease vehicle production at the Browns Lane Jaguar plant in Coventry (UK0412106F ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/jaguar-plant-closure-is-latest-blow-to-uk-automotive-sector
10 April 2005
On 18 March 2005, the government responded to growing pressure from trade unions representing public sector workers concerning its proposed changes to public sector pension schemes by agreeing to new talks involving ministers, employers and unions. A number of public sector unions had secured membership support for a concerted 24-hour strike over the proposed pensions changes, due to be held on 23 March (UK0502102N ), but called off the stoppage after the government’s announcement.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/unions-to-hold-strike-ballots-over-public-sector-pensions-changes
13 February 2005
On 27 January 2005, the strike committee of the public sector trade union, Unison, authorised a ballot of its members in local government over whether to take industrial action against proposed changes to the local government pension scheme. Balloting will take place during February and the result will be known on 9 March. Amicus and the Transport and General Workers' Union subsequently announced that they too would ballot their local government members on the same issue.
13 February 2005
The final version of the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations 2004  was approved by both Houses of the UK Parliament in December 2004. The Regulations are intended to implement the requirements of the 2002 EU Directive (2002/14/EC ) on informing and consulting employees (EU0204207F ).  http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2004/20043426.htm  http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=32002L0014&model=guichett  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/final-approval-given-to-consultation-directive