HC Deb 26 April 2002 vol 384 cc488-9W
Mr. Hammond

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the European Union has the power to set the(a) pay and (b) benefit entitlements that must be offered by (i) public and (ii) private enterprises to their workforces. [52300]

Alan Johnson

Whether the European Union has the power to set these entitlements will depend on the nature of particular proposals that could have the effect of setting pay and benefits for certain individuals. Where the aim of EU legislation is to prevent discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability, this may affect the minimum levels of pay and other benefits that public and private sector enterprises must offer to some members of their workforces.