CJEU ruling on worker rest periods (EU)

On the 9th November (today), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled on the REQUEST for a preliminary ruling submitted by the Portuguese Tribunal da Relação do Porto (Court of Appeal, Oporto) on whether the minimum uninterrupted weekly rest period of 24 hours to which a worker is entitled (in the European Working Time Directive) must be provided no later than the day following a period of six consecutive working days.

The European Directive on the organisation of working time (Directive 2003/88/EC as amended) provides that every worker is entitled, per each seven-day period, to a minimum uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours plus 11 hours’ daily rest. An earlier Directive 93/104/EC is also relevant, and the request raised the matter of the effect of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which had been dealt with by the earlier June Opinion of the Advocate General. 

By today’s judgment, the Court finds that EU law does not require the minimum uninterrupted weekly rest period to be provided no later than the day following a period of six consecutive working days, but requires it to be provided within each seven-day period. See the list of documents here

The earlier June 2017 Advocate General Opinion had found – Article 5 of Council Directive 93/104/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time, Article 5 of Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time and Article 31 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted not as requiring the weekly rest period to be granted at the latest on the seventh day following six consecutive working days, but as requiring such a period to be granted within each seven-day period.

The Opinion is here

CJEU ruling on breastfeeding mothers risk assessment (EU)

On 19th October the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on a REQUEST for a preliminary ruling under European Union treaty law made by the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Galicia (High Court of Justice of Galicia, Spain).

This REQUEST asked for clarification on the matter of the employer’s risk assessment of breast feeding mothers in the workplace.

The court found :

(1) The European Equal Opportunites & Equal Treatment Directive 2006/54/EC must be interpreted as applying to a situation (such as that at issue in the main Spanish court proceedings), in which a breastfeeding worker challenges, before a court or other competent authority of the Member State concerned, the risk assessment of her work – in so far as she claims that the assessment was not conducted in accordance with Europan Directive 92/85/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding.

(2) On a proper construction of European Directive 2006/54 (in a situation such as that at issue in the Spanish court proceedings), it is for the worker in question to provide evidence capable of suggesting that the risk assessment of her work had not been conducted in accordance with the requirements of Article 4(1) of Directive 92/85 and from which it can therefore be presumed that there was direct discrimination on grounds of sex within the meaning of Directive 2006/54 (in the case). It would then be for the defendant to prove that that risk assessment had been conducted in accordance with the requirements of that provision (risk assessment of breast feeding mothers) and that there had, therefore, been no breach of the principle of non-discrimination.

The CJEU judgment is here

The UK HSE guidance is as yet unchanged. The UK HSE guidance states a specific risk assessment is not required when an employer is notified a worker is a new or expectant mother. This guidance is here.

NB: ACAS is finalising new guidance on preventing pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work. UPDATE : this guidance is here.

The Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation UK websystems contain Law, ACOPs, HSGs and some other health and safety relevant guidance. They do not contain ACAS documents, please refer to legal specialists in Employment Law for further guidance.

Glyphosate (UK) Regulatory Query

UPDATE (November 2017) : The European Commission has approved glyphosate for a further five years. This approval will be adopted before 15th December 2017 (when the current approval runs out).

The details are here.

UPDATE (June 2016) : The European Commission has adopted an eighteen month extension of its current approval. 

Press Release is here.

The legal position (set out below) in the UK is unchanged. Please note : some Local Authorities may trial alternatives for use in parks and gardens (eg Bristol).


Glyophosate is regulated in the UK as a pesticide. Under European Union (EU) rules, pesticides are only approved for use if a scientific assessment has identified no unacceptable risks to people or the environment. The EU current approval of glyphosate expires on 31st December 2015.

The matter of health risks being created by use of glyphosate was raised in a recent assessment by the World Health Organisation’s latest review of cancer risks of this chemical (a main ingredient of the popular herbicide Roundup).

UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) responded on 29th April 2015 as follows to a Freedom of Request:

“As part of the review of glyphosate, the regulatory authority responsible for pesticides in Germany (BfR) has assessed the relevant data to see if EU approval can continue from 2016. BfR’s assessment has been circulated to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and to all EU Member States for critical review. EFSA published the assessment on its website in March 2014 for a two month public consultation and has co-ordinated a peer review, conducted in February 2015. This involved all Member States’ pesticides regulatory authorities, European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, and it’s expert advisors.

EFSA is in the process of drawing up its findings in a formal conclusion, which will be sent to the Commission for consideration. In light of this conclusion, a decision will be taken either to renew the approval of glyphosate or not. If approval is renewed, products which contain the active substance will be separately re-assessed at Member State level, to confirm that they too continue to meet the required standards of safety.

If approval is not renewed, glyphosate products will be withdrawn from the market.

In the work carried out so far under the EU review, glyphosate has been judged not to show an ability to cause cancer in humans. In addition, predicted exposures from authorised uses of glyphosate were found to be within acceptable limits for all aspects of human health.”

The full text is here.

Land Reform (Scotland)

Published May 2014 – Land Reform Review Group Final Report – The Land of Scotland and the Common Good

This is the final report of the independent Land Reform Review Group set up by the Scottish Government in 2012.

The Review Group’s remit is to examine the role of Scotland’s system of land ownership in the relationship between the people and land of Scotland, and make proposals for land reform measures that would:-

“* Enable more people in rural and urban Scotland to have a stake in the ownership, governance, management and use of land, which will lead to a greater diversity of land ownership, and ownership types, in Scotland

* Assist with the acquisition and management of land (and also land assets) by communities, to make stronger, more resilient, and independent communities which have an even greater stake in their development

* Generate, support, promote, and deliver new relationships between land, people, economy and environment in Scotland”

The Report has nine Parts. In the first, the Group sets the context for the rest of the Report by clarifying the scope of the Group’s review and defining its use of terms including, for example, what is meant in the Report by ‘the public interest’. The Report then has seven main Parts, 2-8, dealing with the main land reform issues considered by the Group. In Part 9, the conclusions from those Parts are discussed in terms of the three broad objectives in the Group’s remit, and there is a summary list of the Group’s Conclusions and Recommendations from each Part of the Report.

CE Marking and Construction Products (UK)


From 1st July 2013 CE marking of construction products is mandatory.
From 1st July 2014 CE marking of fabricated structural steelwork is mandatory.

Background and Legal Source:

The European Construction Products Directive 89/106/EC introduced the concept of CE marking for construction products as a “passport” entitling products to be placed legally on the market in any Member State. Under the UK’s transposition of the Directive in the 1991 Construction Products Regulations (SI 1991/1620), CE marking was not compulsory.

The European Construction Products Regulation EU 305/2011 (CPR) repeals the Directive and from 1 July 2013, requires construction products to be CE marked when they are placed on the market in all cases where a harmonised European standard exists for the product.

The 2011 EU Regulation also places clear duties on a wider range of economic operators (importers and distributors as well as manufacturers) to ensure that the CE marking requirements and associated obligations are met.

The 2013 Regulations (SI 2013/1087) give effect to the 2011 EU Regulations and set out the offences.

The harmonised standard covering fabricated structural steelwork is BS EN 1090: Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures.

Part 1 of the standard is the Requirements for Conformity Assessment of Structural Components. It describes how manufacturers can demonstrate that the components they produce meet the declared performance characteristics (the structural characteristics which make them fit for their particular use and function).

Part 2 is the Technical Requirements for Steel Structures. It specifies the requirements for the execution of steel structures to ensure adequate levels of mechanical resistance and stability, serviceability and durability. It determines the performance characteristics for components that the manufacturer must achieve and declare through the requirements of Part 1.

BS EN 1090-1 became mandatory on 1 July 2014. It is therefore a legal requirement for all fabricated structural steelwork delivered to site from that date to be CE Marked.

The BCSA has made CE Marking compliance a condition of membership of the Association from 1 July 2014, so selection of any BCSA Member company will guarantee that the steelwork contractor will have the necessary certification to comply with the CPR requirements.

Guidance produced by Tata Steel states “Contracts for fabricated structural steelwork to be delivered to site on or after 1 July 2014 should include the following specifications, which incorporate the obligations of BS EN 1090-1 and BS EN 1090-2 on the steelwork contractor:
• National Structural Steelwork Specification (NSSS) for Building Construction 5th Edition CE Marking Version
• Model Project Specification for the Execution of Steelwork in Bridge Structures (SCI Guide P382) revised January 2012”

The regulator is Local Authority Trading Standards. Queries should be addressed to them.

Link to Trading Standards.

Link to UK Regulations (offences).

Link to EU Construction Products Regulation.

Pests Act 1954 (England)

Rabbits and Occupier’s Duties

Under Section 1 of the Pests Act 1954, the whole of England, apart from the City of London and Isles of Scilly, has been declared a rabbit clearance area. Under Section 1(2) of the 1954 Act, all occupiers of land in a rabbit clearance area have a continuing obligation to kill or take any wild rabbits living on, or resorting to, their land, unless they can establish that it is not reasonably practicable to do so.

If it is not practicable to destroy the rabbits, occupiers have an obligation to prevent the rabbits from causing damage elsewhere by, for example, fencing them in with rabbit-proof fencing.

The obligation to control rabbits is irrespective of the use being made of the occupier’s land or that of their neighbours.

Section 98 of the Agriculture Act 1947 gives powers to the Secretary of State to serve a notice on an occupier to take specified action against rabbits.

Natural England further information is here.

Offshore Helicopter Safety (UK)

UK Parliament scrutiny body (Transport Committee) calls for a public inquiry (following a series of helicopter crashes).

The Transport Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the UK Department for Transport and its Associate Public Bodies.

In August 2013, a helicopter crashed into the sea while on approach to Sumburgh Airport on Shetland. Four passengers were killed. That was the fifth helicopter accident since 2009 involving the transfer of oil and gas industry personnel to and from offshore installations in the North Sea.

Per the Transport Committee’s Second Report (30 June 2014) – “The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigation into the crash uncovered a number of deeply worrying events. Specifically, the AAIB found pre-flight briefing material did not fully represent the type of Emergency Breathing System (EBS) supplied to passengers. This caused problems for some survivors of the crash who told us they decided not to use the EBS based on the safety briefing. We call for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure that helicopter operators, in collaboration with the offshore work force, review all safety briefing material to guarantee that it is up to date and fit for purpose. We also call for the AAIB to keep crash survivors better informed on the progress of their investigations and, along with the CAA, to meet survivors to take on board their ideas for improving safety.”

“The Sumburgh crash prompted the CAA to launch a wide-ranging review into offshore helicopter safety. In February 2014, the CAA published its review of offshore helicopter safety, which made strong recommendations on safety governance, airworthiness and equipment. We welcome that review and congratulate the CAA on quickly establishing the Offshore Helicopter Safety Action Group to implement the CAA’s findings. At the same time, we highlight areas which we believe require more work, particularly on the problems caused by the diverse customer requirements for helicopter pilots and on the impact of seating restrictions on workers and their livelihoods.”

The full report summary is here.


Aviation regulation within the UK is evolving from a national model under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to a pan-European model under the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In the areas for which EASA is responsible, such as aircraft certification, continued airworthiness and aircrew regulation, the CAA serves as EASA’s local office to implement regulations. In areas for which EASA is not responsible, the CAA serves as the primary regulator. From 28 October 2014, Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012 will apply to the UK. This EU regulation will supersede national regulations on safety requirements during offshore helicopter operations.