Proposals to loosen what the Commission describes as “excessive national control measures” on the posting of workers abroad are being acclaimed by business organisations and criticised by trade unions.
On 13 June 2006, the Commission published a Communication on posting of workers, outlining what it considers to be some key problems in the implementation of the Directive:
- Excessively restrictive interpretation: Some provisions of the Directive, such as the temporary nature of posting, the nature of public-policy provisions and the distinction between self-employed workers and employees and rules to be followed when collective agreements are not universally applicable, are being interpreted by some member states in a way that effectively hampers the free circulation of services. Some of those cases have been brought before national tribunals and the European Court of Justice.
- Excessive control measures: Control measures in some member states go beyond what is strictly necessary and justifiable to check compliance with the directive and ensure the protection of posted workers. Such measures may also obstruct the free provision of services.
- Information: According to the Commission, some member states still provide insufficient or insufficiently accessible information to workers and companies. In some cases, a lack of administrative co-operation between member states is the core problem.
The Commission is proposing a number of measures to overcome these problems, ass well as citing good practice by individual member states:
- Setting up single liaison offices and monitoring offices where requests for information and co-operation can be directed, irrespective of where the services are being provided;
- setting up or improving websites dedicated to the posting of workers;
- initiating awareness-raising campaigns, and;
- engaging in bilateral agreements established to ensure improved co-operation between labour inspectorates.