Workers' Rights

MQT on 2016-05-25
Session date: 
May 25, 2016
Question By: 
Jennette Arnold
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In what ways does the UK's membership of the European Union help ensure workplace rights to Londoners?

Supplementary Questions: 


Answer for Workers' Rights

Answer for Workers' Rights

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I believe that the UK’s membership of the EU has strengthened workplace rights for Londoners with minimum paid leave, rights for agency workers, paid maternity and paternity leave, equal pay, antidiscrimination laws and protection for the workforce when companies change ownership.  These are all in place thanks to our membership of the EU and they are enshrined in EU legislation.


It is not clear that such progress would have been made if the UK had been outside the EU.  Many of these rights are now the accepted norm for UK workers.  Trying to recreate them would be wasteful and would negatively affect both contractual employment relationships and employee relationships.


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Deputy Chair):  Thank you, Mr Mayor, for that full answer.  Can I just ask,  I know you have not had a lot of time to settle down yet, but have you had any meetings with the Government in terms of its push for us to remain in the EU?  It would, clearly, impact on London greatly.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I have had various meetings with Ministers in the Government, all of whom have been very charming and nice, I hasten to add.  I have spoken to the Prime Minister and we discussed this and to the Chancellor and we discussed this.  I have had other meetings as well with Government Ministers.


Clearly, the next few weeks are crucial.  This Thursday, it will be four weeks until the referendum.  Those of us who believe in remaining in the EU need to put aside party differences and campaign together to persuade other Londoners to support our campaign to remain in the EU.


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Deputy Chair):  Mr Mayor, on my way to work this morning I was overhearing many travellers speaking and what was constant in their refrain was the confusion and the misinformation that there is.  One lady captured it and said that all she wants to know are the facts.


Are you going to be part of giving Londoners the facts about the benefits of remaining in the EU over the next four weeks?


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Can I say, Assembly Member Arnold, this will be important to the Chairman to show the difference a new regime makes.  I will listen to the Assembly.  I will make a speech this Thursday in light of what you have said to set out the facts.  How is that?


Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Deputy Chair):  Thank you.  Welcome.  We will get more of that as time goes on.  Thank you very much.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  My pleasure.