Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Monday, 14 January 2013

MEP calls for EU laws on job losses

MEPs have clashed over a report by the Employment Committee that calls on the European Commission to bring in new laws to regulate the way in which major companies carry out restructuring.

Presenting his report on 14 January 2012, Spanish socialist MEP Alejandro Cercas said that since 2007 there have been over 5,400 cases of major restructuring, with total job losses of 1.8 million.

The report says there needs to be better information for workers who may be affected, including EU-wide minimum standards.

He said companies needed to look at "ethical issues not just economic issues".

"We need to draw a line between civilisation and barbarity," he concluded.

But Slovene liberal MEP Jelko Kacin questioned the need for regulation at EU-level.

"Restructuring is a natural process in any economy, we shouldn't avoid restructuring, we should use it to give a new impetus to companies that have outdated models."

The report contains 16 recommendations, including the setting-up of early warning systems and more alternatives to redundancies.

These alternatives would include working time reductions, reduction in work intensity and better use of redeployment.

The vote on the report will take place during the voting session from 11am on 15 January 2013.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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