Today, 20 November 2014, the UK government have been told yet again that they are in breach of European law. This time it relates to bankers’ bonuses.
The banking crisis brought our country, and all of Europe, to its knees. We still live with its consequences today in the form of very tough austerity measures.
It was recognised by everyone that a significant reason for the banking industry being in the crisis in which it was because of the system of bankers’ bonuses which encouraged the casino banking attitudes that led to the crisis. For that reason, it was agreed by everyone that there had to be curb on bankers’ bonuses. Tough, but fair and necessary, European Directives were created and every country that is a member of Europe required to follow suit. Britain tried to go its own way and it introduced a softer system that led to it being taken to the European Court.
Today the Advocate General advising the Court that Britain got it wrong and is in breach of European Law.
There are many other examples of this. In my practice, there is no more glaring or retrograde example than Section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 which put the rights of victims of accidents back more than 100 years.
That legislation is also being considered by the European Commission and, for the sake of everyone who has been injured at work and for anyone whose employers may now be turning a blind eye to their safety obligations because of Section 69, it is hoped similar enforcement action will be taken against the UK and they will also be told to reverse their legislation.
Get involved by writing to your local MEP, making it clear that Section 69 has to go.