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Ministers agree position on EU posted workers directive

Ministers agree position on EU posted workers directive

Building worker

(LUXEMBOURG) - EU ministers agreed a compromise Monday on the posting of workers directive, allowing posted workers to generally benefit from the same rules governing pay and working conditions as local workers.

"The final text strikes a delicate balance," according to Estonia's labour minister Jevgeni Ossinovski, speaking for the EU presidency: "On one hand, it is essential to ensure that our workers are treated fairly. People who do the same job at the same place should also have the same working and wage conditions. On the other, we must not create unnecessary obstacles to the free movement of services - for example in the transport sector that is mobile by nature."

The aim of the proposal, which revises certain elements of the original 1996 directive, is to facilitate the provision of services across the EU whilst respecting fair competition as well as the rights of workers who are employed in one member state and sent by their employer to work temporarily in another (posted workers).

The directive will ensure fair remuneration and a level playing field between posting and local companies in the host country.

The new directive provides for:

  • remuneration of posted workers in accordance with host member state law and practices
  • long-term posting of 12 months that can be extended to 6 months (18 months in total) on the basis of a motivated notification by the service provider
  • application of universally applicable collective agreements to posted workers across all sectors
  • equal treatment of temporary agency workers and local workers
  • as regards the transport sector, the provisions of the amending directive will apply from the date of entry into force of the forthcoming sector-specific legislation
  • 3 years transposition period plus 1 more year before the application of the directive.

All rules on remuneration which apply to local workers will also have to apply to posted workers. Remuneration will not only include the minimum rates of pay, but also other elements such as bonuses or allowances.

The Platform against undeclared work will be used to fight fraud and abuses and to improve the exchange of information and administrative cooperation between member states.

Posting of workers involved 1.9 million European workers in 2014. Although it represents only 0.7% of total EU employment, the posting of workers supports the cross-border provision of services across the Internal Market, particularly in the construction and some personal and business services sectors. Under existing rules, posting companies need to comply with a core set of employment rights of the host country, including minimum rates of pay.

Following the 'general approach' agreement, the Council is now able to start negotiations with the European Parliament.

1996 directive concerning the posting of workers

Enforcement directive of 2014

Commission proposal

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