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