EP news: GMB meets with Parliament on dismissals

GMB Brussels Branch representatives have held urgent meetings with Parliamentary authorities on the issue of unfair and irregular dismissal of MEPs’ Assistants, which is thought to be a serious problem in the institution.

Whilst many MEPs are exemplary employers, GMB Brussels Branch is concerned that an administrative ‘gap’ has enabled a number of MEPs to abuse the rules on terminating an Assistant’s contract.

Working in tandem with representatives of the Assistants’ Committee, officers of the Brussels Branch of the GMB Trade Union have met with officials from both DG Personnel and the Legal Service of the Parliament. GMB aims to ascertain what more can be done to ensue that the Parliament protects the rights of assistants, whether through better enforcement of the existing rules or by proposing changes to the procedures.

The Branch believes that Assistants currently fall into an administrative ‘gap,’ as under current working practices the Parliament is not accustomed to helping an Assistant where there is a case of conflict with an MEP. This results in an unusual situation, in which the burden of proof is on the employee, rather than the employer, in any case of dismissal.