A "posted worker" is an employee who is sent by his employer to carry out a service in another EU Member State on a temporary basis.
For example, a service provider may win a contract in another country and send his employees there to carry out the contract.
Posted workers are different from EU mobile workers in that they remain in the host Member State temporarily and do not integrate in its labour market.
On the contrary, EU mobile citizens who go to another Member State to seek work and are employed there, are entitled to equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax conditions.
The EU law defines a set of mandatory rules regarding the terms and conditions of employment to be applied to posted workers
These rules establish that, even though workers posted to another Member State are still employed by the sending company and therefore subject to the law of that Member State, they are entitled by law to a set of core rights in force in the host Member State.
This set of rights consists of:
However, there is nothing to stop the employer applying working conditions which are more favourable to workers than those of the sending Member State.
The EU law thus provides a clear framework to guarantee fair competition and respect for the posted workers' rights so that both businesses and workers can take full advantage of the internal market opportunities.
EU rules are transposed into national legislation. You can find a summary of the legislation in each Member State in English, German and French.
The abovementioned rules are defined in the Posting of Workers Directive which was approved in 1996. In 2014 the Enforcement Directive was approved with the aim to strengthen the practical application by addressing issues related to
The Enforcement Directive will need to be transposed by the Member States by 18 June 2016.
On the 8 of March 2016, the European Commission proposed a revision of the rules on posting of workers within the EU to ensure they remain fit for purpose. Until Member States and the European Parliament have agreed on the revision and the new rules have entered into force, the current rules remain in place.
If you are posted on a short assignment to another EU country, find out more about your social security coverage and other rights and obligations.