Posting of workers: details of provisional deal
28 Feb 2014
Social Europe & Jobs
Statement by Danuta Jazłowiecka MEP, Rapporteur on the Enforcement Directive on the posting of workers:
Yesterday's provisional agreement on the Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive is a sign of the responsibility taken by the European institutions. The proposed text aims at ensuring the worker's protection and providing legal clarity for companies. We have struck the right balance between the freedom to provide services and enforcement of workers' rights. It is a good sign for both the internal market and the posted workers. Let us hope that the deal will be kept in the forthcoming votes and that the file will be closed before the European elections.
The agreement must still be approved by COREPER next week and by the Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee during a vote on 18 March. The final vote in the European Parliament is due to take place in plenary in April.
Main elements of the provisional agreement on the Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive
Decisions taken regarding the two most controversial elements of the directive:
National control measures: Member States should have the necessary flexibility and freedom when choosing control instruments to be used when inspecting foreign companies as requested by the Parliament, provided that these instruments are justified and proportionate and that their purpose is the effective monitoring of compliance with the Posting of Workers Directive and Enforcement Directive. Member States will be obliged to communicate to the European Commission what control instruments they apply, but this should not, as requested by the Parliament, be understood as a prior authorisation (Article 9).
Joint and several liability: an obligatory, direct, joint and several liability has been introduced in the construction sector together with the possibility to apply alternative solutions, such as sanctions against the contractor, for example. Member States may introduce more stringent rules of joint and several liability, also in other sectors, and apply due diligence if they wish to. The new provisions will not threaten systems already in place in Member States (Article 12).
The Enforcement Directive contains a number of other provisions proposed by the European Parliament:
When checking whether posting is genuine, national labour inspectors will be guided by common lists of elements. In addition, national authorities will have to take measures to exclude cases of persons falsely declared as self-employed and ensure proper protection of workers who were not genuinely posted, which was a priority for the Parliament's negotiating team.
Following the proposal of Rapporteur Danuta Jazłowiecka, the Council agreed on introducing a single national website in every Member State, where the applicable terms and conditions of employment will have to be published. Countries will also have to indicate institutions to which workers and undertakings can turn to for information.
Unanimous decisions backed by the European Parliament and Council:
Posted workers should claim their rights and receive due payment for work performed.
The cross-border execution of administrative financial fines and penalties for dishonest companies should be introduced.
The exchange of information between Member States will be carried out through IMI (IMI is a secure online application that allows national, regional and local authorities to communicate quickly and easily with their counterparts abroad). Administrative cooperation between Member States will be improved.
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.
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