Today, the European Parliament endorsed new rules for posted workers that will create fair conditions and fair competition for European workers and companies. The Socialists and Democrats had led the campaign to close loopholes in the outdated legal framework for workers temporarily providing a service in another EU country, and succeeded in considerably improving the Commission proposal.
Udo Bullmann, leader of the S&D Group, said:
“I am proud that the Socialists and Democrats scored a big victory for European workers. The new rules will put an end to the abuse of posted workers, who too often receive a pittance, are made to work long hours, and live under shocking conditions. These scandalous pay and working conditions put massive pressure on the local labour markets. The new rules will ensure that from day one posted workers will enjoy better rights and receive the same pay for the same work as the local work force. This is a breakthrough for social Europe, a Europe that cares and protects.”
European Parliament negotiator on the Posting of Workers Directive and S&D spokesperson for employment, Agnes Jongerius, said:
“Now that the European Parliament has backed our proposal for equal pay for equal work at the same place, co-workers can be colleagues again, rather than competitors. We fought for new rules to end the abuse of posted workers and stop the race to the bottom on salaries and working conditions.
“I am glad that we succeeded in setting applicable collective bargaining agreements as the standards for wage and working conditions. Furthermore, the position of workers is strengthened since the new rules explicitly aim at protecting workers’ rights.”
Key points of the new Directive:
- · Posted workers are entitled to the same pay as the local workforce from day one
o Wages according to collective bargaining agreements
o Allowances such as a thirteenth salary, cold weather payments and other benefits
o The reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs, on top of the salary
- · Change from home to host labour law after 12 months, with a possible extension of 6 months, instead of after 24 months as proposed by the Commission
Note to the editor:
The 1996 Directive on Posted Workers had aimed at establishing a balance between facilitating the cross-border provision of services in the internal market, providing protection to posted workers, and ensure a level playing field for local companies and companies from other EU countries. The Socialists and Democrats have campaigned for a revision of the Directive since the 2007 Laval and Viking cases, as the old Posting of Workers Directive was not able to prevent exploitation and social dumping.
A posted worker is an employee who is temporarily sent by his employer to provide a service in another EU country. In 2015, there were 2.05 million posted workers in the EU. 42% of posted workers work in the construction sector, 21.8% in the manufacturing sector and 13.5% in social services. The average duration of a posting is four months. Posting increased by 41.3% between 2010 and 2015. Poland, Germany and France are the biggest senders of posted workers, while Germany, France and Belgium are the biggest receivers.