The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that member states have an obligation to remove prohibitions and restrictions on the use of temporary agency workers to properly comply with Article 4(1) of the Agency Workers Directive (AWD).

The much-anticipated judgement has been welcomed by Eurociett, which believes the decision will contribute to better-functioning labour markets.

This is the first ever judgement from the CJEU on the AWD and it was forthright in its interpretation of Article 4(1), which was designed to limit restrictions by member states on the use of temporary agency workers. These, of course, include many skilled Umbrella Company Employees in the UK, along with others, in a thriving professional contracting community.

Member states, the CJEU has now ruled, have just two options: remove any restrictions or prohibitions that cannot be justified under Article 4(1) or modify legislation where applicable to make them compliant with the AWD.

Eurociett’s president, Annemarie Muntz, said: “The court decision clearly confirms Eurociett’s assessment that the required review of restrictions by member states is not a one-off exercise but that there is a permanent obligation on them to comply with article 4(1) of the Agency Work Directive.”

Ms Muntz continued: “It is now up to the national authorities and courts to judge whether restrictions in national laws or collective labour agreements are compliant with the objectives and the scope of the Agency Work Directive.”

In the wake of this clear judgement, Eurociett pledged to continue working with European institutions to ensure that member states applied the AWD correctly to the benefit of well-functioning labour markets.

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