In November 2002 the European Parliament approved the proposal for a directive regulating the working conditions of temporary agency workers. However, the European Council has been unable to agree on a revised text, primarily due to continuing disagreement on the length of the qualifying period before the protection applies.
There has been further progress towards the proposal for a directive for EU-wide rules on the activities and supervision of institutions operating occupational retirement provision services. The current draft introduced a number of changes, including a provision allowing schemes to provide retirement benefits in the form of a lump sum without restriction.
A high-level group of company law experts, appointed by the European Commission to make recommendations aimed at modernizing the regulatory framework for company law, has published its final report. They include a recommendation that the costs of all share incentive schemes be properly accounted for in annual accounts.
The European Commission recently presented a new proposal for a directive on takeover bids, which affords employees and their representatives stronger information and consultation rights than those contained in the previous proposal rejected by the European Parliament in July 2001.
An amendment to the 1976 Equal Treatment Directive, which strengthens worker protection against discrimination on grounds of sex, marital or family status and pregnancy and maternity, requires implementation by member states by October 5 2005. Among other things, it requires member states to establish equality monitoring bodies.
The European Parliament has suggested a number of changes to the proposed directive on the working conditions of temporary agency workers. These include confirmation that the principle of non-discrimination should be applied from the commencement of a temporary agency worker's assignment, and an exemption for member states unaccustomed to the non-discrimination principle.