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Posting of workers: Council reaches agreement

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 24 oktober 2017.

The Council reached an agreement on its position (general approach) on the posting of workers directive. The new proposal revises certain elements of the original 1996 directive.

The President of the Council, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Minister for Health and Labour of Estonia, stated:“I am happy that the Council agreed its position on such an important and sensitive issue. And I'm especially glad that after long negotiations, there was broad support for our compromise. The final text strikes a delicate balance. On one hand, it is essential to ensure that our workers are treated fairly. People who do the same job at the same place should also have the same working and wage conditions. On the other, we must not create unnecessary obstacles to the free movement of services - for example in the transport sector that is mobile by nature.“

The aim of the directive is to facilitate the provision of services across the EU whilst respecting fair competition as well as the rights of workers who are employed in one member state and sent by their employer to work temporarily in another (posted workers). The directive will ensure fair remuneration and a level playing field between posting and local companies in the host country.

The new directive provides for:

  • remuneration of posted workers in accordance with host member state law and practices
  • long-term posting of 12 months that can be extended to 6 months (18 months in total) on the basis of a motivated notification by the service provider
  • application of universally applicable collective agreements to posted workers across all sectors
  • equal treatment of temporary agency workers and local workers
  • as regards the transport sector, the provisions of the amending directive will apply from the date of entry into force of the forthcoming sector-specific legislation
  • 3 years transposition period plus 1 more year before the application of the directive.

All rules on remuneration which apply to local workers will also have to apply to posted workers. Remuneration will not only include the minimum rates of pay, but also other elements such as bonuses or allowances.

The Platform against undeclared work will be used to fight fraud and abuses and to improve the exchange of information and administrative cooperation between member states.


The revision of the 1996 directive was needed in order to adapt the legislation to new economic and labour market conditions, and to codify the case law of the European Court of Justice. This will improve the clarity of EU legislation.

The revised directive focuses on issues covered by the EU regulatory framework established by the original 1996 directive. The revised posting of workers directive and the enforcement directive therefore complement each other and are mutually reinforcing.

Posting of workers involved 1.9 million European workers in 2014. Although it represents only 0.7% of total EU employment, the posting of workers supports the cross-border provision of services across the Internal Market, particularly in the construction and some personal and business services sectors. Under existing rules, posting companies need to comply with a core set of employment rights of the host country, including minimum rates of pay.

What's next

With this agreement the Council can start negotiations with the European Parliament.


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