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Greater enforcement of posted workers’ rights

The European Parliament intends to strengthen the rights of workers posted temporarily to provide services abroad.  On April 16th 2014 the EU Parliament voted for draft legislation aimed at improving the rules of the 1996 directive on the working conditions of posted workers. In particular, the new law shall avoid the circumvention of employee protection rights in EU-countries with a higher protection standard, e.g. through so-called ‘letter-box’ companies set up in countries with a lower level of protection standards.   

There are two main improvements intended by the draft law: The European Parliament inserted a non-exhaustive list of criteria to help member states to check whether a posting is genuine or whether it is a sham and an attempt to circumvent employee protection rights in the respective country. Furthermore, the draft law contains a definition of false self-employment which is often used by employers to circumvent employee protection rights, as many of these rights are not applicable to self-employed workers. In order to detect any abuse of the posting of workers, the European Parliament also intends to tighten the inspection regime. The draft law awaits approval by the Council of Europe.