To make the EU single market work better for workers and for business, the Commission has proposed new rules to increase the protection of workers temporarily posted abroad.
Worker protection and fair competition are the two sides of the EU single market's coin, yet findings suggest that minimum employment and working conditions are often not respected for the one million or so posted workers in the EU. To address the specific issues of abuse where workers do not enjoy their full rights in terms of for example, pay or holidays, especially in the construction sector, the Commission has put forward concrete, practical proposals as part of an enforcement Directive to increase monitoring and compliance and to improve the way existing rules on posted workers are applied in practice. This will ensure a level playing field between the businesses involved, excluding companies that don't follow the rules.
To send a strong message that workers' rights and their freedom to strike are on an equal footing with the freedom to provide services the Commission has also put forward a new regulation that takes on board existing case law. This is especially relevant in the context of cross-border services provision like the posting of workers. The overall aim of both proposals is to boost quality jobs and increase competitiveness in the EU by updating and improving the way the single market works, while safeguarding workers’ rights.
Following the adoption of the legislative package, President Barroso said ". I promised the European Parliament in 2009 that we would clarify the exercise of social rights for the posting of workers. The free provision of services within the internal market represents a major growth opportunity. But the rules need to apply equally to all. This is not always the case for workers posted in another Member State. Today, the European Commission is taking concrete action to stamp out the unacceptable abuses. We want to ensure that posted workers are treated on an equal footing and enjoy their full social rights across Europe.
Commenting on the importance of the proposals for both workers and business, László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion underlined “Temporarily posting workers should be a win-win for EU labour markets and for businesses, but it cannot be used as a way to sidestep minimum social standards. Mr Andor stressed that the single market would only work efficiently with fair competition, saying “Today’s proposals clarify the rules on posted workers for everyone and put practical safeguards in place against social dumping and poor working conditions, especially in the construction sector where posting of workers is most prominent and reports of abuse are highest”.