The European Parliament's employment committee today voted on a key legislative package concerning the labour rights of posted workers. The rules address some of the major problems with existing EU rules on posted workers and the Greens welcome the committee's vote to reinforce these rights through tougher sanctions, controls and better administrative cooperation. Commenting on the vote, Elisabeth Schroedter, Green employment and social affairs spokesperson, said:
"Our vote today sends a strong signal to posted workers - approximately one million in the EU every year - and shows that the European Parliament is ready to fight for the improvement of their rights. It is high time that the legislation governing how they are treated in the workplace is tightened up.
The Greens won a key point in that they succeeded in turning around the Commission legislative proposal that had tried to limit the rights of member states to enforce workers' rights. To truly deliver on workers' rights, member states must be free to inspect everything they consider necessary to enforce the Posting Directive. The proposals provide for this and ensure that effective inspection of undertakings is not hampered.
This new legislation will help to detect 'letterbox companies', stop bogus self-employment and ensure that workers receive the income and the working conditions that are their right under law. In addition to this, the proposals provide for better cooperation between member states as well as improved resources for labour inspection.
A further big step forward is the fact that the committee voted in favour of obliging member states to introduce a system of Joint and Several Liability for posting companies. Greens have always called for this, as it will ensure that subcontracting chains can't be abused to circumvent the law and exploit workers.
I am relieved that the report today found a majority in the committee. And I am very surprised that the social democrats voted against a report that provides for allowing member states the freedom to choose how best to enforce the posting directive and clearly sets out an obligation for member states to set up systems of joint and several liability."