Lord Wedderburn of Charlton (Labour)
My Lords, before my noble friend sits down, I understand his argument that we have a discretion to implement the directive; I understand his argument that there is no European-wide definition of "employee" or "worker"; but I do not understand his argument that we are under no obligation to implement the very clear statement in the directive. The directive states that it covers those under a contract of employment—in British terms, such people are employees—and those in an employment relationship, obviously without a contract of employment. It then states that some of the people under an employment relationship are not included—that is, agency workers, as my noble friend rightly said.
The interpretation which restricts implementation in the British sense to employees is patently defective. Why does my noble friend insist that public money should be wasted on litigation in the Court of Justice in Luxembourg, which undoubtedly will be in prospect if the Government fail to implement the directive in the way that the noble Lord, Lord Razzall, suggests in his amendment?