(Fictitious) Directive 2011/444 (‘the Directive’) provides that all laboratory technicians must receive health and safety training. An annex to the directive sets out the details of the required training, which must include sessions covering all new handling techniques to toxic substances. The directive also provides that all overtime worked by laboratory technicians must be paid at no less than three times the normal hourly rate. The deadline for the implementation of the Directive was 30 December 2015.

The UK has not implemented the directive. It has insisted on keeping in force the (fictitious) Laboratory Safety Act 2002 (the ‘Act’) which provides that all laboratory technicians must receive health and safety training but does not specify the content of the training. The act makes no provision for the payment of overtime work.

a) Mark works for the NHS and occasionally works overtime. Under his contract of employment he receives twice the normal pay rate for his overtime work. He is dissatisfied with this and is considering bringing proceedings against his employer.

b) Adam works for ScienceLab Plc. He has received training in health and safety but not specifically in recently developed handling techniques for toxic substances. Last month Adam came into contact with a toxic substance at work and, as result, suffered respiratory problems. He believes that, had he received such training he would not have been exposed to the associated health risk.

Advise Mark and Adam whether they have any rights under EU law.

QUESTION 2

Sweden has become worried by the presence of certain pesticide residues in plants, which some scientific studies have indicated may pose a health risk. In particular Swedish authorities are concerned about a specific pesticide marketed under the name ‘Zappicide’. Zappicide is legally in use in other EU member states and there are no EU rules placing restrictions on its use.

Sweden has passed national legislation which seeks to limit its use. Amongst its provisions are:

a) A limit on the concentration of Zappicide in any fruit, vegetables or cereals sold in Sweden.
b) A requirement that all cereals, vegetables and fruits imported into the country should have a certificate stating whether Zappicide has been used in their production. A system of compulsory inspections has been put in place to check whether imported produce exceeds the levels set down by Swedish law.
c) A small charge is made for this inspection.
d) A ban on all advertising or sales promotion of any produce which contains any level of Zappicide residue (even if this is within the permitted levels).

Roberto is an Italian producer of new varieties of tomato, which he was hoping to market in Sweden. He is concerned by the new legislation in Sweden as he has found that Zappicide is the most effective pesticide for his crops and he thinks his produce may exceed the limits imposed by Sweden. Even if he is able to reduce the levels in his crops, the inspections and certificates are going to inconvenience him, and the charge for inspections will affect his profits. Furthermore, because he is producing new varieties, he was relying on an advertising and sales promotion campaign to help him break into the market in Sweden.

Roberto would like to know whether there it would be possible to challenge the Swedish provisions on the basis of EU law.

QUESTION 3

One year ago, Marcin, a 35 year-old from Polish citizen, travelled to the UK to look for work. He had applied for work, as a hospital porter in a local hospital in North London, but was told that UK nationals would be given priority for positions in the public sector, and since then he has been doing some work as a part-time painter in a hotel.

Marcin’s partner, Isabelle, and Leo, their son, are due travel to the UK to live with Marcin next week. Isabelle was born in Brazil and still holds Brazilian nationality. Marcin has been advised by the UK Ministry of Justice that, owing to a previous criminal conviction for smuggling wild animals, he may be deported and, that even if he is allowed to stay, it is unlikely that Isabelle and their son Leo would be allowed into the UK and that Isabelle would not be able to take up paid employment. Leo, who is deaf, would need special educational support.

Advise Marcin, Isabelle and Leo as to their rights under EU law.

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