The European Court of Justice has recently heard a case brought by Finnish employers. The case seeks clarification as to whether a collective agreement entered into between employers and employees in the petrol industry, limiting the ability of the employer to use temporary workers, is in line with the Temporary Agency Workers Directive (TAWD).
The Finnish employers are arguing that there is a distinct lack of flexibility and such collective agreements rub against the grain of the TAWD. The ultimate aim of the employers is to utilise temporary workers more effectively and regularly than previously allowed.
This has caused a great deal of consternation among Finnish trade unions who are challenging that position. Furthermore, they have received support from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
The case could have ramifications not only in Finland but throughout the European Union if it is deemed to be the case that this restriction and usage of temporary workers is not in line with the provisions of TAWD. Finnish trade unions believe that temporary workers receive less pay, benefits and access to broader benefits than permanent employees. Of course there are provisions in place to ensure a level of parity but it is believed within ETUC that this does not provide adequate protection.
We will await the outcome of this case with interest.
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