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MEPs demand fair protection for posted workers

18 October 2017, 17:32 CET
MEPs demand fair protection for posted workers

Building worker

(BRUSSELS) - MEPs adopted new draft rules Tuesday to ensure that posted workers are better protected and fair competition for companies, with changes concerning remuneration, duration of posting and temporary agencies.

The issue of posted workers - employees sent to another EU country to work there temporarily - has been a controversial one, as it can be tricky finding the right balance between protecting workers and boosting competition between companies.

“This is an important step to create a social Europe that protects workers and makes sure there is fair competition," said rapporteur Agnes Jongerius MEP: "Collective agreements which benefit local workers must also apply to posted workers in the future. We must stop the race to the bottom in the European labour market, to reach the goal of equal pay for equal work at the same workplace.”

Posted workers have an employment contract in their home country, but are sent by their employer temporarily to another member state to carry out a task.

The growth of the single market has led to increased wage differences, thereby creating incentives for posting. Posted workers often earn considerably less than local workers, which can lead to unfair competition between posting and domestic companies, social dumping and exploitation of posted workers.

The aim of the new rules has been to ensure fair salaries, solid protection for posted workers and a level playing field between companies.

  • All of the host country’s rules on remuneration, set by law or collective agreements, should apply to posted workers.
  • Member states should be obliged to publish all elements of their national remuneration policy, as well as information on collective agreements, on a special website.

Improving workers’ conditions

  • Travel and accommodation costs must be reimbursed or be part of the wage.
  • Hosting member states could opt to apply regional or sectorial collective agreements, instead of national ones, if they offer more favourable conditions for posted workers.


  • If the posting is longer than 24 months, all of the host country’s labour conditions would apply to posted workers.
  • 24-month limit can be extended if a company needs more time to complete the service it was required to provide.

Temporary work agencies and subcontracting

  • To prevent “chain postings”, aimed at circumventing obligations, the new rules would also apply to posted workers sent by a temporary agency from another member state.
  • Member states may oblige the subcontractor to pay their posted workers the same amount as the main contractor.

International road transport

International road transport will be dealt with by sector-specific legislation, included in the Mobility Package. Until that has been adopted, and to prevent legal loopholes, the posting of workers’ directive remains applicable to road transport.

The full House of Parliament is now expected to vote on this draft mandate to enter into informal negotiations with the Council at the next week’s plenary session. EU Ministers (Council) have yet to adopt their position.

Further information, European Parliament

Posted workers: the facts on the reform

EP briefing: The revision of the posting of workers directive

Legislative procedure

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