The European Parliament and member states of the European Community agreed on the directive on posted workers.
Under the new regulations, the posting period will be only 12 months, not 24, as previously proposed by the European Parliament. In exceptional cases, this period may be extended by an additional 6 months. Later, the employee will only be affected by the law in force in the country to which he or she has been delegated.
This is not the only important change. Another provision which causes mixed emotions is the fact that European states will be able to apply ‚collective agreements representative of a given geographical area or sector’ to companies who post workers, says MEP Danuta Jazłowiecka. Such documents may contain information on rates (much higher than those resulting from the national law) or working time. This creates huge, bureaucratic problems, not least because the documents can be counted in hundreds in every country of the Community.
Collective agreements often count several hundred pages, are not always made public and there are no translations into EU languages” – alarms Jazłowiecka.
What about wages?
What’s more, the agreement also includes a provision saying that the owners of companies sending employees to other European Union countries will have to pay not only the minimum wage but also the same benefits as the locals receive. This may come as good news for the employees, but the companies will suffer.
What does this mean for the industry?
– The directive will be applied to drivers in international traffic when the Mobility Package that we are currently working on is in force. Until then, entrepreneurs will have to continue to deal with vagueness whether and how to apply national laws regarding the minimum remuneration – reads a statement by Danuta Jazłowiecka for Trans.INFO.
We are currently working in the Parliament on the Mobility Package, which sets the rules according to which the directive on posted workers will be applied to drivers and transport companies. In the case of transport, the ball is still in the game. It will be extremely important to decide whether and on what terms the posting will involve transit, international transport or cabotage. The scope of the rules governing posting will also be important. The revision foresees special requirements for long-term posting and the possibility of applying collective agreements representative of a given geographical area and sector to companies. It is important that at least these rules do not apply to transport, because they will generate huge administrative burdens, especially for the SME sector – adds MEP.
The agreement on the directive on posted workers still has to be accepted by the EU Council (i.e. individual countries; at the moment the agreement was concluded by Bulgaria, who has the presidency in the Community) and the majority of the European Parliament – we read on the eppgroup.eu website. As estimated by Jazłowiecka, the vote will take place „at the turn of April and June”.