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EPSCO Council: Posting of workers should be based on fair competition


19 Apr 2016


Social Europe & Jobs

Brussels, 19th April 2016 – Today the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council held an informal meeting in Amsterdam to talk about labour mobility and posting of workers. For the first time the European Social Partners of the construction sector are invited to address the EU Ministers in such a meeting. This shows the political sensitivity of the issue and the key role played by the construction sector in posting situations.

Speaking on behalf of EBC as the representative of construction micro companies and SMEs, President Patrick Liébus said during the plenary session “Our small and medium construction companies welcome the fact that the European Commission took its foot off the brake and proposed a new directive on posting of workers. There is a major problem of unfair competition and social dumping in the Internal Market due to posting that has not been solved by the previous directives. In this moment posting is being performed on the basis of downwards salary competition. After almost 20 years we hope the revision will finally be the occasion to face the reality of the current posting situations”.

Patrick Liébus continued “Micro, small and medium construction firms in some countries are losing local jobs, while posted workers with lower salaries and social protection are replacing them. With this situation in mind, it is difficult for construction SMEs to see the benefits of the Internal Market and to take posting on board”.

Patrick Liébus concluded “The proposal of the Commission includes some positive elements to define the status of a posted worker and therefore to fight against bogus posting. But it is not enough to ensure a level playing field for European companies. The European Institutions have to be more courageous and provide the appropriate tools to create a new culture of posting and competitiveness, based on innovation or specialisation, not just on wage differentials”.


Note to editors

Established in 1990, the European Builders Confederation - EBC - is a European professional organisation representing national associations of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises working in the construction sector. EBC is a member of UEAPME (the European association of micro-enterprises and SMEs), on behalf of which it chairs the UEAPME Construction Forum.

The construction sector is of vital importance to the European economy. With 3 million enterprises, an annual turnover of around € 1600 billion and a total direct workforce of 13 million, the construction sector contributes at around 10% to the GDP of the European Union.

99.9% of the European construction sector is composed of small and medium-sized companies, which produce 80% of the construction industry's output. Small enterprises (less than 50 employees) are responsible for 60% of the production and employ 70% of the sector's working population.

    Press contacts

Riccardo Viaggi, EBC Secretary General:; +32 (0)2 2801650; +32 (0)495 123 577

Valeria Mazzagatti, Press and communications officer:; +32 (0)2 514 2323

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