Posted workers: EU proposals on the table

Having the flexibility to post workers around the EU member states is one of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Treaty of the European Union.

But, with this freedom comes a responsibility to the worker to ensure they receive the basic key terms and conditions of that member state, explains the CIPP’s Helen Hargreaves.

A worker is classed as a “posted worker” when he is employed in one EU member state but sent by the employer on a temporary basis to carry out work in another member state.    There are three types of situation which can be classed as posting workers:

  • Posting under a contract between the business making the posting and the client for whom the services are intended. For example, a service provider may win a contract in another country and send their existing workers there to carry out the contract (contracting /sub-contracting)
  • Posting to an establishment or business owned by the group in the territory of another member state. An example would be a travel rep from a UK travel company who is posted to Spain for the summer tourist season (intra-corporate transfers)
  • Hiring out by a temporary employment firm or placement agency to a user business established in another member state

Recognising the need to guarantee the rights and working conditions of a posted worker, and to avoid “social dumping” where foreign service providers undercut the local service providers through lower labour standards, the EC established a set of rules regarding the terms and conditions applied to an employee posted to another member state, and in 1997 the Posting of Workers Directive came into effect (Directive 96/7/EC).

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  • The Posting of Workers Directive
  • Complying with the Posting of Workers Directive
  • EU proposal for a posting of workers Enforcement Directive
  • What happens next

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