The Working Group on Health and Safety at Work and Labour Law is responsible for the legislation in the field of health and safety at work and labour law contained in Annex XVIII of the EEA Agreement and falls under Subcommittee IV.
The adoption of legislation setting minimum requirements aims at improving labour standards and strengthening workers' rights, and is considered as one of the EU's main achievements in the field of social policy.
Community labour law was designed to ensure that the creation of the Single Market did not lead to a lowering of labour standards or distortions in competition, but it has also been called on increasingly to play a key role in making it easier for the EU to adapt to evolving forms of work organisation. This is crucial if it is to achieve the growth and employment objectives of the Lisbon Strategy.
In 2008, the Working Group discussed a proposal for a new directive amending Directive 2004/40/EC on the protection of workers from the risk related to exposure of workers to electromagnetic fields as well as a proposal for a revised Directive on the role of European works councils in informing and consulting employees (94/45/EC). The experts continue to follow discussions with regard to the Working Time Directive and the proposal for a Temporary Agencies Directive. A key focus for the Working Group is also the follow-up to the Commission's Green Paper on Labour Law and the debate on flexicurity as well as possible EEA EFTA participation in the Bilbao Agency on Occupational Safety and Health.