Mr. Alan Lee Williams
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he 230W will make a statement on the social action programme of the European Community.
§ Mr. John Fraser
The EEC social action programme was adopted by the Council of Ministers in its resolution of 21st January 1974. This resolution was published in the Official Journal of the Communities (NOC 13 of 12th February) which is available in the Library and in the Vote Office.
Within the framework of this programme the Commission has submitted nine proposals, three of which were, in a modified form, agreed by the Council on 10th June. These related to European Social Fund assistance for migrant workers and for handicapped workers, to an action programme for the handicapped and to the setting up of Community safety and health committees. A draft directive on mass dismissals was also considered at the Council meeting but detailed discussion was deferred.
The other five existing proposals, which have yet to be considered by the Council, are (1) a draft directive to implement equal pay;
(2) a draft recommendation to achieve in the Community the principle of a standard 40-hour working week by 1975 and of four weeks' annual paid holiday by 1976;
(3) the establishment of a European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions;
(4) the establishment of a European Vocational Training Centre;
(5) a draft directive on the protection of workers' rights in the event of changes in the ownership of undertakings.