HC Deb 19 December 1989 vol 164 cc143-4W
Mr. Michael Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Labour and Social Affairs Council meeting held in Brussels on 30 November.

Mr. Eggar

In the field of health and safety at work, the Council formally adopted three directives. These provide for minimum standards of health and safety for the workplace, for the use of work equipment and the use of personal protective equipment by workers at work. In addition a common position was reached on a directive dealing with protection of workers from risks relating to exposure to carcinogens at work.

A draft resolution on the setting up of a European employment survey was also adopted; as was a proposal allowing the Commission to negotiate on behalf of the Community at the International Labour Organisation on certain issues.

The Council continued its discussion of the proposal for a technology training programme (Eurotecnet) following amendments by the European Parliament with a view to its adoption at an early future meeting of the Council. Also in the field of training, the Commission outlined a proposal for a programme on continuing training throughout working life; and there was a statement by the presidency on the need for training measures to combat female unemployment and promote equality of opportunity in the labour market.

The Council heard an oral presentation by the Commission on the proposed social action programme to implement the social charter. There was also an oral presentation by the Commission on the worker participation proposals in the draft European company statute.