PES welcomes progress towards a level playing field for EU workers

24/10/2017

Posted workers

The Party of European Socialists welcomes yesterday's agreement reached in the EU Council of Ministers on the Posting of Workers Directive.

Employment and social affairs ministers meeting in the EPSCO council today agreed on a proposal to limit posting to a maximum of 18 months, guarantee that posted workers are paid in accordance with the law of the host country, and provide for the equal treatment of temporary agency workers and local workers.

The PES has long been committed to ensuring that posted workers (those temporarily working in another EU country) are treated the same as local workers when it comes to pay, allowances and bonuses.

However, we regret that this new agreement provides only for universally applicable collective agreements to apply to posted workers across all sectors, rather than individual sectoral or geographical agreements, which often grant better conditions.

A fair revision of the Posting of Workers Directive is now within sight, but the job is not yet done. The Council must now take into account parallel progress made in the European Parliament on this issue, and the two institutions must then agree a single text to allow the reform to become law.

Once this final step has passed, it will be up to individual countries to enforce the rules as agreed, providing enough support and monitoring infrastructure to meet the requirements.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

"Our family stands for fair mobility and workers' protections. This means we need to revise the rules governing posted workers in a way that preserves freedom of movement, allows fair competition across the single market, guarantees decent working conditions, and ensures equal pay and equal working conditions apply for equal work in the same workplace."

Ministers and governments from the PES family were united in their support of the agreement, including:

  • Luxembourg
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Sweden

Nicolas Schmit, Chair of the PES Employment and Social Affairs ministerial network, said:

"Loopholes in the posting of workers directive have too often been used by unscrupulous companies to exploit workers, to evade social and tax obligation. They have too often been instrumentalised by populists to attack freedom of movement and stigmatise workers from other member states.

"With the fair revision we defend, the EU will show it protects workers and combats both social dumping and discrimination."