EUROPEAN UNION – Posted Worker Reform Adopted by European Council and Parliament
On 29 May 2018, the European Parliament voted in favour of adopting amendments to the Posting of Workers Directive (1996/71/EC), and the European Council adopted the revised Directive on 21 June 2018.
The amendments were agreed with the Council and the Commission at the beginning of March 2018.
Member states will have two years to transpose the rules into their national laws and must put them into effect by the end of this period.
What is changing?
- Under the agreed amendments, the host country’s remuneration rules will apply to all posted workers.
- Member States will be allowed to apply large, representative regional or sectoral collective agreements to postings. Currently, this is only allowed in the construction sector.
- Travel, board and accommodation costs will have to be paid by the employer and not deducted from workers’ salaries. Employers will also have to ensure that the accommodation conditions for posted workers are decent, and in line with national rules.
- The Directive will apply to postings up to twelve months, with one possible six-month extension, after which all of the host country’s labour laws will apply to the posting.
- In the event of a fraudulent posting, e.g. by a letterbox company, member states should cooperate to ensure that posted workers are protected, at least, by the conditions of the Posting of Workers Directive.
- The new elements of the revised directive will apply to the transport sector once the sector-specific legislation, included in the Mobility Package, enters into force. Until then, the 1996 version of the directive will remain applicable to this sector.
A posted worker is an employee (EU national or third-country national) who is sent by his or her employer in one EU Member State to carry out a service in another EU Member State.
The Posting of Workers Directive (1996/71/EC) established rules guaranteeing that the core rights and working conditions of posted workers are protected throughout the EU.
The Enforcement Directive (2014/67/EU) aims to strengthen the practical application of the Posting of Workers Directive. This directive requires a posted worker notification made by the sending entity to the labour authorities of the host country before or at the start of the assignment. It also requires the sending entity’s legal representation and employment documents about the assignment available in the host country.
On 8 March 2016, the European Commission proposed a revision of the rules on posting of workers within the EU to ensure that national laws and regulations apply to posted workers in three main areas: remuneration; temporary agency workers; and long-term posting. This revision has now been agreed and adopted and is awaiting transposition by the Member States into national law.
- Employers established in a Member State of the EU and posting workers to another Member State should be aware that non-compliance with national legislation which implements these directives may result in financial penalties following workplace inspections.
- Employers are advised to consult an immigration specialist for case-by-case assessment of administrative requirements.