An EU Directive (91/533/EEC) establishes the employer’s obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship.
The aim of the Directive is to provide employees with improved protection, to avoid uncertainty and insecurity about the terms of the employment relationship and to create greater transparency on the labour market. To this end, the Directive states that every employee must be provided with a document containing information on the essential elements of his contract or employment relationship.
The place of work must be specified, as must the initial basic pay and other remuneration. And there must be descriptions of the work, working times, leave entitlements and the arrangements for either side to give notice. The written information must include the collective agreements governing the employee’s conditions of work. The individual worker must also be notified of any changes in the working conditions specified in the written document.
Employees required to work in other countries must be given the document before their departure. In this case, it must also specify the duration of employment abroad, the currency of payment, any other particular entitlements, and repatriation arrangements where applicable.
EU Member States may decide that the Directive does not apply to employees hired for one month or less, or those on a working week of eight hours maximum. Exemptions are also possible for employment of a casual and/or specific nature, provided there are objective reasons for making an exception.
The text of the Directive is available, together with the preparatory documents and an implementation study.