MEPs adopt legislation to reinforce the rights of posted workers

Following the adoption of new rules by the European Parliament, the rights of posted workers will be guaranteed within the next two years.

European parliament building and flying flags
Workers posted temporarily to a EU country will get equal pay for equal work in the same place as a result of new revised rules adopted by the Parliament on 29 May 2018. The new rules will aim to improve conditions for workers and ensure fair competition for companies.EU Member states will have up to two years to adopt the rules into national law and must have them in effect by the end the two-year period.

What is a posted worker?

A posted worker is an employee (EU national or third-country national) who is sent by his or her employer in one EU Member State to carry out a service in another EU Member State. In 2016, there were 2.3 million posted workers in the EU. Posting increased by 69% between 2010 and 2016. On 8th March 2016, the European Commission proposed a revision of the rules on posting of workers within the EU to ensure that national laws and regulations apply to posted workers in three main areas: remuneration; temporary agency workers; and long-term posting. This revision has now been agreed and adopted and is awaiting transposition by the Member States into national law.

What will change?

Under the agreed amendments, the host country’s remuneration rules will apply to all posted workers.

Ensuring fair pay

Under the agreed text, all of the host country’s remuneration rules must apply to posted workers. In addition to legal provisions, member states may apply large, representative regional or sectoral collective agreements. So far, this has been done only in the construction sector.

Improving workers’ conditions

Travel, board and accommodation costs will have to be paid by the employer and not deducted from workers’ salaries. Employers will also have to ensure that the accommodation conditions for posted workers are decent, and in line with national rules.

Duration of posting

The duration of the posting has been set at a maximum of 12 months, with a possible extension of 6 months. Thereafter, the worker will still be able to stay on and work in the member state to which he or she is posted, but beyond this, working conditions will be subject to the host country’s labour rules.

Protection against fraud

In the event of a fraudulent posting, e.g. by a letterbox company, member states should cooperate to ensure that posted workers are protected, at least, by the conditions of the Posting of Workers Directive.

International road transport

The new elements of the revised directive will apply to the transport sector once the sector-specific legislation, included in the Mobility Package, enters into force. Until then, the 1996 version of the directive remains applicable.Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (EPP, FR), rapporteur, said, “This vote is a cornerstone of the 2014-2019 legislative term. It reflects the social, economic and political reality of the European Union.“It sets a clear course towards a more social Europe with a fairer competition between companies and better rights for workers. By voting in favour of this agreement, the European Parliament provides better rights for workers and also ensures the necessary protection with regard to companies.”Agnes Jongerius (S&D, NL), co-rapporteur, said, “Europe chooses equal pay for equal work at the same place. And that is a major accomplishment. Colleagues can be colleagues again, rather than competitors. This is an important step towards creating a social Europe that protects workers and stops companies from engaging in a race to the bottom."  Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

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