Revision of the posting of workers directive - BusinessEurope position
- BusinessEurope is against the Commission’s decision to revise the posting of workers directive. This will trigger a prolonged period of debate and political divisions between member states at times when the EU needs actions promoting unity.
- The existing posting directive provides a fair and level playing field. It adequately protects posted workers in line with the rules and cost of life in a host country, including the respect of minimum rates of pay of the host country as providing a decent level of income in that member state.
- To promote fair competition, the policy focus should be on fighting illegal practices, including through implementation of the 2014 enforcement directive. On the contrary, by making lawful postings very difficult the Commission’s proposal would have the unintended consequence of increasing the incentives for undeclared work, bogus self-employment and other illegal practices.
- The Commission’s proposal is an attack on the single market. Through new disproportional rules on remuneration, longer postings, and subcontracting it undermines the competitive position of foreign services providers. If adopted, it would hamper cross-border trade in services and consequently overall growth and employment creation as well as convergence in the EU. The proposal would also interfere in national wage-setting systems. It seems to imply that companies in subcontracting chains can be obliged to pay the same wages no matter the differences in their productivity and the productivity of individual workers. It may also lead to a situation where workers employed by the same employer, performing the same tasks are being paid differently, depending on a subcontracting contract their employer is involved in.
- In countries where posting of workers is hotly debated most examples mentioned in the public debate are in fact illegal practices. When it concerns legal postings the key issue to address is the lack of competitiveness of domestic enterprises due to excessive labour costs or lack of productivity and innovation. Reducing or shifting taxes away from labour is what is needed in these countries to increase employment opportunities.
What does BusinessEurope aim for?
BusinessEurope aims to encourage and support member states to fight illegal practices and improve the enforcement of the provisions of Directive 96/71/EC by promoting the transposition and effective application of the Enforcement Directive 2014/67/EU.