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European Social Partners alert: Construction sector must have prior notification


17 Nov 2023


Innovation & Enterprise

The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European  Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) are sounding the alarm for today’s Coreper meeting. The European sectoral social partners for the construction industry jointly oppose the  possibility that prior notification would not apply to postings in the construction industry,  including for short-term postings. 

EFBWW and FIEC call on the Council to review its position and insist on the need for postings  in the construction sector to be subject to prior notification. Prior notification is critical to ensure that worker protection and social standards are upheld in the construction sector so  as to guarantee fair competition and prevent exploitation of workers. 

EFBWW and FIEC sent a joint letter to the Swedish Presidency, expressing their concerns about  the impact of this decision on worker protection and the potential for social dumping to occur. In a joint statement, already released in 2021, EFBWW and FIEC emphasised the importance  of addressing this issue. 

EFBWW General Secretary, Tom Deleu, stressed that “This is an open door to the explosion of  fraud in the construction sector and a frightening decrease in workers’ social security  protection. Let’s not mark the 30 years of EU internal market with a decrease in workers’ social  and health protection. We will not accept any exemption for our sectors!” 

FIEC Director General, Domenico Campogrande, stated that “In order to combat fraudulent  practices and to ensure a level playing field, it is of key importance to ensure that prior  notification does effectively apply to postings in the construction industry, including for short term postings”. 

We send out the warning that such an exemption provides fertile ground for fraudulent  behaviour: 

Fraudulent employers could split the posting periods “eternally” to avoid prior  notification. 

Workers will be vulnerable, as countries – the sending and receiving member states - can say they do not have competence to deal with a possible work-related accident. Labour inspectorates’ work will be harder due to the short-term posting periods.

Many postings in the construction sector are short, so the majority would not even be  notified. 

This exemption cannot be applied blindly to all sectors.


Contact EFBWW:  

Paula Cravina 

EFBWW Press & Communication Officer 

+32 (0) 473 13 43 49 

The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) is the European Workers’ Industry  Federation for the following sectors: building, woodworking, forestry and allied industries and trades.  The EFBWW has 77 affiliated unions in 36 countries and represents a total of 1,500,000 members. 

Contact FIEC:  

Giulia Garofalo 

FIEC Press & Communication Officer 

+32 (0) 485 60 11 77 

The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) represents - via its 32 National member federations in 27 countries (24 EU, Norway, Switzerland & Ukraine) - construction enterprises of all  sizes, i.e. small and medium-sized enterprises as well as “global players”, carrying out all forms of  building and civil engineering activities. FIEC is also the officially recognised Social Partner,  representing employers, in the EU sectoral Social Dialogue for Construction.


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