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Employment: Commission proposes to improve application of workers' rights to free movement

26/04/2013

The European Commission has today proposed measures to ensure the better application of EU law on people's right to work in another Member State and so make it easier for people to exercise their rights in practice.

Currently there is a persistent problem with public and private employers' lack of awareness of EU rules, regardless of whether the national legislation is compliant or not.

This lack of awareness or understanding of the rules is a major source of discrimination based on nationality. People also consider that they do not know where to turn to in the host Member State when faced with problems concerning their rights to free movement.

The proposal aims to overcome these obstacles and to help to prevent discrimination against workers on the basis of nationality by proposing practical solutions.

László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said: "The free movement of workers is a key principle of the EU's Single Market. With much higher levels of unemployment in some Member States than others at the moment, it is all the more important to make it easier for those that want to work in another EU country to be able to do so. Labour mobility is a win—win – it benefits both Member States' economies and the individual workers concerned. This proposal will help workers to overcome obstacles to working in another EU country."

The proposal, if approved by the European Parliament and Council, would help to ensure real and effective application of existing legislation.

Member States would be required to:

  • create national contact points providing information, assistance and advice so that EU migrant workers, and employers, are better informed about their rights
  • provide appropriate means of redress at national level
  • allow labour unions, NGOs and other organisations to launch administrative or judicial procedures on behalf of individual workers in cases of discrimination
  • give better information for EU migrant workers and employers in general.

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