New insurance rules come into force to protect consumers

New measures to guarantee customers receive the same level of consumer protection wherever in the EU they buy insurance have come into force.

The Insurance Distribution Directive sets out the information that must be provided to customers before they sign up to an insurance contract. It also lays down rules for insurance-based investment products.

Conservative MEPs helped secure changes to the original proposals to ensure member states can impose tougher rules if they wish.

MEP for South East England, Richard Ashworth, said: “The Insurance Distribution Directive will enhance consumer protection, increase competition and create a more level playing field between insurance and investment products.

“It will ensure that the same protections are available to individuals when they by an insurance product in the UK as elsewhere in Europe, no matter where the insurance broker is based.”

“Allowing Member States, such as the UK, to have the flexibility to implement tougher rules is a great example of the EU recognising where its law-making is useful and where Member States should be in charge.”

Member states now have two years to incorporate the new rules into national law

Key changes secured to jobs website used by EU migrants

Conservative MEPs have secured key amendments to rules governing a Europe-wide job website used by EU migrants seeking work in Britain.

The European Parliament  approved changes which allows employers to choose whether or not to post vacancies on the EURES site and remove the need to advertise traineeships and apprenticeships across Europe.

Richard Ashworth, Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the South East of England said: “It makes sense that British residents and people in Britain get the first opportunity to secure these jobs,”

“However, where companies are unable to fill vacancies it can be useful to extend their search through EURES to attract the best people from Germany, France and elsewhere.”

“This is just another example where our partners in Europe have taken on board the legitimate concerns of the British people” Mr. Ashworth concluded.

Previous rules insisted that all positions advertised in UK job centres must also be posted on the EU-wide site. Since December 2014 the UK Government has given British firms the choice to opt out, but this position remained open to legal challenge.

The European Parliament has now formalised the UK’s position, allowing employers not to advertise a vacancy on EURES if the move is justified ‘on the basis of skills and competence requirements related to the job.’

Before the UK Government changed its rules in December 2014, 60 per cent of jobs on the EURES site were for posts in the UK. This has now dropped to 15 per cent, reducing one of the factors pulling EU migrants to Britain.