The Socialists and Democrats succeeded in anchoring the principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place in the revision of rules on the posting of workers voted in the European Parliament’s employment committee today. This important victory comes after the S&Ds have pushed for many years to reform outdated rules on workers employed in one EU country but temporarily sent to work in another. Posted workers should be better protected from day one to ensure fair conditions and fair competition on the labour market.
S&D Euro MP and author of the report on posting of workers, Agnes Jongerius, said:
“Today’s vote is a victory for all workers and all companies that play by the rules. We want to ensure that all workers doing the same work at the same place receive the same pay and the same protections. The abuse of workers sent to work in other EU countries for lower salaries and with lower social protection than the local workforce – a practice which fuels social dumping – must be ended.
“With our proposal, adopted by the employment committee today, posted workers will be much better protected. We will put an end to the outrageous living conditions of workers posted abroad. Employers will no longer be able to make their employees pay for housing and transport out of their own pocket, but will have to cover these costs on top of their salary. Nor will employers be allowed to get away with paying the minimum wage when higher collective rates have been agreed. Everyone working in the same place will have the same payslips and the rules set by collective-bargaining agreements will become mandatory for posted workers in all sectors. Protecting posted workers from day one is the crucial issue, in effect much more important than the question of duration, as this will shut the door on abuse.
“I am glad that we were able to ensure that transport workers will also be covered by the new rules. Otherwise, transport workers would have been trapped in a legal vacuum until the Mobility Package enters into force.”
Udo Bullmann, S&D vice-president and MEP, added:
“We Socialists and Democrats have fought for years to make equal pay for equal work at the same place a reality. We pushed hard for the Posting of Workers Directive to be revised. It was an outdated law, no longer meeting today’s challenges. Over the years, the rules originally intended to prevent unfair competition, had been corrupted into a lucrative business model undermining wages and working conditions. It is high time the Posting of Workers Directive is set right again. I am proud that thanks to our endeavours better protection of posted workers is now within reach.
“Today’s vote is a good start towards finally ensuring fair conditions and fair working competition on the European labour market. I call on all EU governments to follow our lead.”
Note to the editor: In March 2016 the Commission proposed a revision of the 1996 Directive on the Posting of Workers. After 18 months of work, the Employment Committee today voted on the text. Member states are expected to take their position in the Council on the 23 October. The bill will have to be agreed in negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission and be voted by the plenary of the European Parliament before it can enter into effect.