March 21, 2020 | News | No Comments
The European Commission is to “clarify” its legislation governing employers who send people to work in another member state – but is to stop short of a complete revision of the controversial ‘posting of workers’ law.
The directive, which came into force in 1996, aims to guarantee that the rights and working conditions of posted workers are protected, no matter which member state they are sent to.
At the same time it aims to avoid ‘social dumping’ – companies in member states with lower labour standards sending their employees to work in another member state with higher labour standards, and undercutting local businesses by applying those lower standards. The legislation is designed to ensure that posted workers are covered by the minimum terms and conditions of the member state where they are working.
However, the directive has been the source of repeated argument, with trade unions claiming that decisions from the European Court of Justice over the past few years have introduced confusion over the implementation of the directive, to the detriment of workers’ protection.
László Andor, the European commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, told European Voice that he would propose “an enforcement directive” after the summer which would clarify the intentions of the original directive. He said he would also propose a new regulation on fundamental social rights, dubbed Monti II, to accompany the clarification.
‘Ensuring core protection’
Andor acknowledged that there was a perception that the posting of workers directive led to “social dumping and an undermining of social standards”. But he maintains that the original legislation was adequate in ensuring “certain core protections”. He blames the bad image of the directive on abusive interpretation, and on some ambiguity in the way in which these protections were interpreted from one country to another.
“The enforcement directive should help clarify and not change the existing directive,” he said. He considers it will be “sufficient to supplement legislation”. He recognises the anxieties of trade unions. “The posting of workers directive requires ensuring certain minimum standards. There is concern that court rulings have meant that these standards are a ceiling,” he said. “We have to ensure that, based on earlier experience, the proposal is not seen as a restriction of trade union rights.”
The Monti II proposal, which would be based on recommendations on free movement on goods made by Mario Monti, a former European internal market and competition commissioner, would aim to clarify how employers should respect social rights, such as membership of a trade union and the right to strike.
Bernadette Ségol, the general-secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), said that she was “not encouraged” by Andor’s stance.
“Fundamental social rights have a priority over freedom to provide services. One should not be balanced against the other, as the ECJ interpreted the posting of workers directive,” she said.
“This is why the ETUC continues to ask for a revision of the directive guaranteeing workers rights, equal treatment for wages and working conditions.”
She said that internal market rules “should not be used to undermine workers’ wages and collective bargaining protection”.
Click Here: cheap INTERNATIONAL jersey