a) The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Article 31 of the Charter, entitled “Fair and just working conditions”, gives every worker the right to working conditions which respect his or her health, safety and dignity.
b) The legislative powers and their limits
Article 153(5) TFEU provides that the provisions of Article 153 TFEU shall not apply to pay.
According to Article 145 TFEU, the Union and the Member States shall work towards developing a coordinated strategy for employment. Pursuant to Article 147 TFEU, the Union shall contribute to a high level of employment by encouraging cooperation between Member States and by supporting and, if necessary, complementing their action. In doing so, the competences of Member States shall be respected.
c) Existing measures
The Union and its Member States together pursue the European Employment Strategy, including as concerns the monitoring of wage and minimum wage developments and of the underlying wage setting mechanisms.(50) Trends in labour costs, including their wage component, are also monitored in the framework of the Union economic policy coordination process pursuant to Articles 120 and following TFEU. As provided for in Art 136 (1) (b) TFEU, economic policy recommendations are also addressed to the euro area; this may include the monitoring of labour costs.(51) The surveillance under Regulation (EU) No 1176/2011(52) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances includes the monitoring of competitiveness developments, including labour costs.
The Council Recommendation of 20 September 2016 on the establishment of National Productivity Boards(53) recommends that the Boards thereby established should analyse developments and policies that can affect productivity and competitiveness, including relative to global competitors, in full respect of national established practices.
Commission Recommendation 2008/867/EC(54) of 3 October 2008 sets out an integrated, comprehensive strategy for the active inclusion of those excluded from the labour market, including the promotion of quality work, notably as concerns pay and benefits, with a view to preventing in-work poverty.
(50) See, for example, Council Decision (EU) 2015/1848 of 5 October 2015 on guidelines for the employment policy of the Member States for 2015, OJ 268, 15.10.2015, p.28.
(51) See, for example, the Council Recommendation of 21 March 2017 on the economic policy of the euro area. OJ C 92, 24.3.2017, p. 1.
(52) OJ L 306, 23.11.2011, p. 25.
(53) Council Recommendation of 20 September 2016 on the establishment of National Productivity Boards, OJ C 349, 24.9.2016, p. 1.
(54) OJ L307, 18.11.2008, p.11.