The Posting of Workers Directive, which was adopted in 1996 to ensure a level playing field for workers sent by their companies to a different EU country, does not function properly, say MEPs.
Key concepts of the directive are interpreted differently from member state to member state, workers are not aware of their rights under the directive and member states do not properly monitor compliance with the directive because they do not cooperate properly. These are some of the conclusions of the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee, which examined the application of the directive, following an expert hearing at the beginning of 2006.
The committee stressed the continued importance of the directive, especially after the deletion of two articles concerning the posting of workers from the Services Directive. An own-initiative report adopted by the committee on 13 September 2006 criticises the the directive it is failing to reach its aim of uniform conditions for posting workers across EU borders. They found that contractors and workers are continuously and successfully trying to evade the directive’s rules, for example through subcontracting, outsourcing and by a growing practice of sham self-employment. They asked the Commission, therefore, to initiate talks with member states on defining clear rules for the status of self-employed workers and for liability in the case of infringements.