The European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) has today set out a strong set of proposals for ending the exploitation of posted workers. The committee voted on the revision to the posting of workers directive, with the compromise agreement including many long-standing Greens/EFA demands such as the wider application of collective agreements and the protection of workers who are not genuinely posted.
Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur Terry Reintke comments:
"We can and must end the abuse of posted workers. For far too long, criminals and unscrupulous businesses have misused posting rules to exploit workers. This is a chance for the EU to strike a much better balance between internal market rules and social protection rights.
"We are pleased to see a strong consensus on the need to move away from the narrow focus on minimum rates of pay. Ensuring that all workers receive the minimum wage in the host country is not enough; they deserve to receive the same package of allowances and benefits, too. That commitment to fairness is also why we pushed hard to ensure that the benefits of collective bargaining are experienced by posted workers.
"At the moment, there is a risk that some workers who are not genuinely or legally posted fall between the cracks of the legislation. Thanks to a Green amendment, all workers who are being abused in such a way would be protected by the full set of host country laws, ensuring the most vulnerable workers are supported.
"This is clearly not just a matter for the rules of the internal market. That’s why we called for the legal basis to be expanded to include social policy. When posted workers need to seek legal redress, they should be able to appeal to rules designed for their protection, not the protection of the market.
"Posted workers have waited far too long to see progress. There is a clear parliamentary consensus and we now expect to see EU Member States match the level of ambition agreed today."
The EMPL committee voted on the revision of the posted workers directive. The key changes include:
- Introduction of the term "remuneration" instead of "minimum rates of pay", meaning that posted workers would also receive certain allowances and additional wage elements;
- Allowing Member States to apply regional and sectoral collective agreements to posted workers;
- Application of remuneration standards of the main contractor to subcontractors with posted workers;
- Obligation to give equal treatment to local and posted temporary agency workers;
- Legal certainty that workers not genuinely posted who will be protected by the full set of host country law
- Extension of the legal base to include social policy as well as internal market rules
The Committee also voted on the mandate for entering into trilogue negotiations with the EU Commission and Council. Unless this is challenged in the upcoming plenary session (23-26 October) trilogues could commence as early as November.