Puscas: Romanian workers in UK to enjoy more rights in job market

The Romanian workers in the United Kingdom will enjoy more rights in the job market, Minister Vasile Puscas, who heads the European Affairs Department, said on Friday.

Following moves made by Puscas, the UK will introduce starting Oct. 2 legal modifications on the access of certain Romanian workers groups in that country’s job market, the Department said in a release.

The legal changes relate to the couple’s status (husband, wife), the status of under-21s and over-21s still under the care of the Romanian nationals who currently work in Britain by the Work Authorisation Scheme.

Such persons will no longer have the right to apply for a work authorisation if the main family member already works in the UK legally. Such main family member will continue to be subject to the Workers Authorisation Scheme during the first year of activity.

‘We hope such modifications may take effect on Oct. 2, 2009, thus providing free access to the job market to the members of the family of the Romanian workers enlisted in the Workers Authorisation Scheme as long as they continue to work in Britain.

Romania is a member state that has full rights and obligations in the European Union, which we see as a space where the citizens’ rights and interests are not merely asserted, but supported too.

This is one of the basic principles of the optimal functioning of the European construction, the goal of which is concrete results for the European citizens,’ Puscas stressed.

According to the European Affairs Department head, the UK government appreciates the contribution that the workers from the states having joined the EU after 2004, from Romania included, have made to the functioning of the British labour market.

‘The above-mentioned legislative changes will set up the (amended) Rules of 2009 on the workers’ authorisation in Britain’, he added.
The British authorities, via the UK Embassy in Bucharest, announced the modifications had already been introduced in the law-making process in British Parliament, the release said.

At end-2008, Romania was communicated the British authorities’ decision to keep the restrictions set to the Romanian workers in the country’s labour market.

The European Commission had voiced regret at such a type of decisions adopted by some member states and slammed the enactment of unequal treatment to the 2007 new entrants as compared to those who joined in 2004 and notably being in disagreement with the provisions of Romania’s and Bulgaria’s EU Accession Treaty.

The Romanian Minister of European Affairs in this February contacted the relevant British authorities to expressly ask them to review the national legislation on the access of the Romanian worker’s family to the job market, in line with the provisions of Romania’s and Bulgaria’s EU Accession Treaty.

Following such a request, Britain initiated a process on the modification of the relevant British laws by amending them so as to allow the Romanian nationals to exercise such right.

Thus, on this Sept. 3 British Minister for Immigration and Borders at the Home Office Philip Woolas notified Minister Puscas in an official letter that the required modifications had been operated in the British domestic law in line with the Accession Treaty provisions.

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