Revision of the Posting of Workers directive: Cities and regions call for protective measures against social dumping
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is the first EU institution to position itself on the revision of the Posting of Workers directive. The opinion adopted in the plenary session on Wednesday 7 December considers the proposal a step in the right direction but calls for more efficient measures to protect posted workers and fight social dumping.
Rapporteur Yoomi Renström (SE/PES) welcomes the aim of the European Commission proposal: to guarantee free movement of services while ensuring that posted workers would generally benefit from the same rules governing pay and working conditions as local workers. "Posting must not lead to the exploitation of posted workers nor put downward pressure on remuneration in the country to which the workers are posted", highlights the Member of Ovanåker Municipal Council.
The CoR opinion suggests that the time limit beyond which the law of the host country must apply in full to a posted worker should be reduced from 24 to 12 months. The Committee is also calling for more effective measures against bogus posting and unfair competition on the basis of lower social security contributions. Key recommendations in this field include creating a European register where posted workers would have to be declared by the posting undertaking, as well as introducing reporting requirements for social insurance institutions in the host Member State.
The opinion also proposes a European support scheme to protect posted workers against cascade subcontracting practices and suggests the creation of a European directory of occupations and vocational skills to avoid that posted workers' skills are deliberately underestimated.
"In order to effectively fight social dumping, there is a need for measures to also protect the self-employed as well as those carrying out work intermediated by digital platforms", Renström adds.
The rapporteur points out that in a well-functioning single market for services competition should be based not just on labour costs but primarily on factors such as the quality of the service provided and the efficiency of the service provider's work.
"No country is a winner or loser with respect to worker mobility: if well managed, it is an asset for the EU. If all the EU Member States had less divergent economic and social environments, competition between workers would be more about quality and skills than about wage levels. This is what our ultimate goal should be", Renström concludes.
The recommendations of the Committee will feed into the work of legislative bodies in the coming months. European Parliament will adopt its draft report in July 2017.
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