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Success on the horizon for posted workers reform


01 Mar 2018


Social Europe & Jobs

EU lawmakers have reached agreement on reforming the rules for posted workers in Europe -- putting one of the PES's major policy priorities within reach for the first time.

Negotiations between the European Parliament, the European Commission and national governments agreed last night on new rules to guarantee equal pay and rights for equal work at the same location.

If the details of the agreement are confirmed, this will mean that workers posted from abroad will no longer be forced to suffer worse conditions and lower salaries than local colleagues doing the same job. As well as protecting posted workers' wages according to local collective bargaining agreements, the new rules will also protect other allowances such as cold weather payments, and provide for travel and accommodation costs to be paid on top of the salary.

Negotiations for the European Parliament were led by Agnes Jongerius MEP, from the Socialists & Democrats group allied to the PES.

The agreement specifies that the directive will not apply to the transport sector, which will be covered by separate rules.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

"Revising the Posting of Workers Directive has been a longstanding priority for our political family. We have been actively involved in the process throughout, because of our commitment to the basic principle of fairness and solidarity among all workers.

"Thanks to the work of Agnes Jongerius and the S&D Group, we are now getting close to finishing the job, which should set fairer rules for workers’ mobility, ensuring full equal treatment, adequate remuneration and allowances, and fair social protection to posted workers in Europe.

"I am eager to read the details of this agreement.

"Once this important process is completed, the next challenges will be to extend fair mobility to transport workers, and to implement the new rules efficiently."

Mr Stanishev added:

"This is one element of our ambitious social action plan that we believe is needed to implement the declaration on the pillar of social rights made last year by all EU leaders.

"Other important elements include a European Labour Authority to support national authorities, an EU social security card, and a new directive ensuring access to and portability of social protection for all workers.

"We will continue the fight for Europe's workers to have the rights and protections they need, wherever they are employed."

The new rules on posting of workers must be confirmed in votes by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament before they can take effect.


Notes for editors

  • A posted worker is a worker who is sent by his or her employer to work temporarily in another country, to provide a cross-border service.
  • The EU average duration of a posting is less than 4 months.
  • In 2015, there were 2.05 million posted workers in the EU, accounting for 0.9% of total employment, or 0.4% in full-time equivalent. The number of postings has increased by 41% between 2010 and 2015.
  • The Posting of Workers Directive has been in place since 1996. It was the first Directive to regulate the provision of services across the single market by establishing a minimum set of social guarantees in the interest of workers.

(Source: European Commission)

  • The revision of the directive follows a call from PES to close the legal loopholes allowing the exploitation of workers and unfair competition.


Media images

  • Free-to-use, media-quality photographs are available on the PES Media Centre: For images of people quoted in this press release, see:

Sergei Stanishev


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