How do workers in Scotland benefit from the EU?

The EU is premised on four fundamental freedoms – the free movement of goods, services, people and capital. Forging the world’s largest single market has created unprecedented opportunity for workers to move freely around the EU to work.

However, in order to protect workers in the open market, EU law provides a suite of social rights, responsibilities and protections which guarantee fairness in the workplace.

EU Directives give us the following rights:

  • Our right not to be discriminated against on the basis of gender, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation
  • A woman’s right to 14 weeks maternity leave with, as a minimum, statutory sick pay and the right to four months parental leave on the birth or adoption of a child
  • The right to 20 days paid leave each year  and the right not to be compelled to work more than 48 hours a week

These tangible rights affect Scots every day and demonstrate that the EU is a progressive, social union. They create a level playing field of workers rights across the EU and crucially in an open market, prevent exploitation in a ‘race to the bottom’.