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Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights of Workers

The Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights for Workers, adopted in 1989, establishes the major principles on which the European labour law model is based. It applies to the following areas:

  • free movement of workers;
  • employment and remuneration;
  • improvement of working conditions;
  • social protection;
  • freedom of association and collective bargaining;
  • vocational training;
  • equal treatment for men and women;
  • information, consultation and participation of workers;
  • health protection and safety at the workplace;
  • protection of children, adolescents, elderly persons, and disabled persons.

These social rights represent a foundation of minimum provisions common to all the European Union (EU) Member States. The provisions of the Charter were kept by the Lisbon Treaty (Article 151 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU) and by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.


The Charter was adopted in accordance with the preamble of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, which recognised the need to continually work towards improving the living and working conditions of European citizens.

It was only adopted by the United Kingdom in 1998 as part of the integration of the principles of the Charter into the Amsterdam Treaty.

Last updated: 29.09.2011