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Working conditions: even more burdens for employers

18 October 2018
by UEAPME -- last modified 18 October 2018

The European Parliament (EMPL) vote on compromise amendments on transparent and predictable working conditions goes further than the Commission’s proposal on issues such as information, predictability of work, non-standard forms of employment, training, probationary period, transition to another form of employment or employers’ sanctions.


In other words, the Parliament's vote largely increases red tape for SMEs. This vote may discourage employers of hiring new employees, especially at a time where flexibility is more than ever needed on both sides.

One of the main downsides of the outcome is the obligation for employers to deliver the essential information on employment conditions to all types of workers at the start of the employment contract. This contradicts UEAPME's request for simplification of the legislation, in particular for small and micro-enterprises to have sufficient time to prepare the information.

On the positive side, UEAPME welcomes the fact that self-employed formally do remain out of the scope of the directive, despite the introduction of criteria for determining the type of workers covered by the directive.

Overall, UEAPME reiterates serious concerns about the red tape and complexity of the proposed directive, and therefore counts on the Council to reach a more balanced trilogue outcome with better legal certainty that respects the 'Think Small First' approach.

The aim of the directive has been enlarged from informing workers on the conditions applicable to an employment relationship to establishing new rights (such as the predictability of work).

"SMEs need well-conceived legislation, especially concerning labour laws, giving them sufficient flexibility without undermining the workers' protection.

The vote goes even further than the proposal SMEs already considered as way too detailed to be adequate at company level. Moreover the role of social partners for regulating labour law and for employers regarding the organisation of working conditions at national, sectoral or even company level are not sufficiently respected " stated UEAPME Secretary General Véronique Willems.

"This vote reaffirms the large number of new obligations for the employer which will inevitably create legal uncertainties, more paper work, more costs, more red tape," said Ms Willems regarding the additional burdens for small and micro-enterprises when hiring workers. "The fact that employers only have seven days to give all information pertaining to the employment contract in written form is a huge burdens for SMEs. UEAPME had requested a more realistic timing for delivering written information to workers."

UEAPME welcomes the fact that self-employed are formally kept out the directive, this is fully justified since they do not have an employer. However, the vote on the deletion of the European definition of workers and on the introduction of criteria replacing work by services on those covered by the directive may very well be problematic at national level when the different definitions in Member States are taken into account.

UEAPME is the employers' organisation representing Crafts and SMEs from the EU and accession countries at European level. UEAPME has 64 member organisations covering about 12 million enterprises with 55 million employees. UEAPME is a European Social Partner.

UEAPME - the European craft and SME employers' organisation
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