Enforcing 'equal pay, equal work' pattern by new rules
The 'new' EU states are opposing the proposal as it doesn’t solve the fundamental issue
Maria Koleva, Brussels
20 October, 2017
Photo © European Parliament
Today’s vote is a victory for all workers and all companies that play by the rules, Dutch S&D MEP Agnes Jongerius pointed out.
Employment Committee MEPs adopted new measures for workers who are sent temporary to carry tasks in another Member State that aim to introduce ‘equal pay for equal work’ model, putting an end to social dumping and countering unfair competition between companies. The new rules were backed by 32 votes to 8 and 13 abstentions on Monday. The contracts of posted workers are issued in their home country, but are sent by their employer temporarily to another EU state. It’s well known that workers posted by so called “new” member countries are receiving less money for their work than their local colleagues.
The posted workers, as well as posted temporary agency workers, should receive the same salary and bonuses as local ones in the same workplace, MEPs proposed.
Today’s vote is a victory for all workers and all companies that play by the rules, and we want to ensure that all workers doing the same work at the same place receive the same pay and the same protections, Dutch S&D MEP Agnes Jongerius, one of the co-rapporteurs on the file, pointed out. She accented that employers will no longer be able to make their employees pay for housing and transport out of their own pocket, but will have to cover these costs on top of their salary.
Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, French EPP MEP, co-rapporteur, stated that per diems have to be calculated according to the prices in the working country, and not on those in the country of origin. “That means that the sandwich of the Hungarian posted worker in France will not be calculated up to the price of a sandwich in Hungary, but to the price of the sandwich in France,” she explained.
Employment Committee lawmakers stipulated that labour rules of the receiving country should apply to postings longer than two years. Member States have to be obliged to publish on a special website all elements of their national remuneration policy, as well as information on collective agreements. Safeguards against “chain postings” were also set.
The issue of international road transport workers and whether they should be considered as posted in one country, while daily they can pass three or even more EU countries’ borders, will be a subject of a sector-related legislation under the Mobility Package. But the lawmakers warned that before adopting this specific legislation, the posting of workers’ directive will remain applicable to road transport, as to prevent legal loopholes.
The reform on posted workers legislation is rather controversial matter and CEE countries strongly oppose it, saying that despite sounding very socially just it is not solving the fundamental issue - the vast differences in living standards in Europe. If adopted, the new directive will send back to their home places about 600,000 less-paid posted employees from CEEC working in the well-off western Member States. The influential employers’ association BusinesEurope also alarmed that changing legislation would bring new uncertainty for business in Europe.