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Working Conditions

In: Business and Management

Submitted By shughes
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Working conditions

Working conditions refers to the working environment and aspects of an employee’s terms and conditions of employment. This covers such matters as: the organisation of work and work activities; training, skills and employability; health, safety and well-being; and working time and work-life balance. Pay is also an important aspect of working conditions, although Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) excludes pay from the scope of its actions in the area of working conditions.

Improving working conditions is one of the goals of the EU. Article 151 TFEU states that: ‘The Union and the Member States… shall have as their objectives the promotion of employment, improved living and working conditions, so as to make possible their harmonisation while the improvement is being maintained’. Further, Article 153 TFEU states that ‘the Union shall support and complement the activities of the Member States’ in a range of social policy fields, including working conditions (Article 153 1(b)).

The thinking of the EU on its competences in the area of working conditions has developed considerably over the past half century. The original EEC Treaty of 1957 took the view that the objectives of improved living and working conditions were to be achieved primarily through the mechanisms of the common market. Intervention was only to secure what was consistent with the common market: the free movement of labour. This policy was revised in 1972, when European heads of state agreed that the increasing involvement of labour and management in the economic and social decisions of the Community was desirable. Accordingly, the European Commission was instructed to draw up a Social Action Programme (SAP), the three main objectives of which were: attainment of full and better employment in the Community; improvement of living and...

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