The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is known for its grand pronouncements on the interpretation of European-made law. Their decisions affect almost every aspect of life in Britain today.
The potential of their latest decision, however, is so remarkably far-reaching that even the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has come out to criticise it! The CBI has, in the opinion of Eurosceptics, long been considered Europe’s lapdog in Britain, tirelessly campaigning for many years for us to ditch the Pound for the Euro and still bleating that we must remain in the European Union at all costs.
They are alarmed because the Court has ruled that holiday pay should be recalculated to include not only the ordinary salary of employees, but their commission too. This means sales staff, when taking annual leave, would receive commissions for “theoretical” sales, even while they were on holiday.
It is clear this alone will be very costly for small or medium-sized enterprises whose workforces will not be able to absorb such costs. But even more damaging is the prospect this ruling could be applied retrospectively!
Backdating this ruling will cost firms many millions of pounds. Those large and established firms most capable of lobbying the European Union – so often well served by its corrupt institutions – could probably absorb the cost. But for their leaner, smaller competitors, having to pay out large sums in back pay – perhaps even to ex-employees – will be their undoing. Superficially, the ruling helps employees who miss out on commission because they are on holiday. But what use will this be if the companies which employ them are forced out of business altogether?
Britain is recovering from the global recession at a faster pace than any other country in Europe. We must pull out all the stops to create jobs and protect livelihoods. Every time the European Union or the European Court of Justice arrogantly forces Britain’s hand on domestic matters, we must repeat the mantra: Get Britain Out.