A missed opportunity for posted workers
On 27th February 2014, negotiations between the European Council, Commission and Parliament on the enforcement of the posted workers directive concluded without any result. Instead, a preliminary 'deal' was announced which will be subject to further discussion.
GUE/NGL MEP Thomas Händel said following the announcement of the deal: “The current status of negotiations provides at most marginal improvements for the people concerned and defines the status quo for another 5 years. The pressure to present a clear result before the European elections has been to the detriment of this dossier.
“The current 'deal' means that the strong position of Parliament's Employment Committee could be considerably weakened. For example, the general contractor liability, which would prevent dumping by sub-contractors, would not be included.”
The Council refuses even minimal improvements, such as prior information on host countries if there is a planned posting. Thomas Händel adds: “The original posted workers directive should be urgently improved and the principle of 'equal pay for equal work' should be enforced at last. With this deal there won't be any change for a long time. Although individual improvements were agreed on concerning cross-border cooperation between responsible authorities and on some other points, it does not compensate for the restriction of controls and inadequate general liability. Consequently, the goal of the directive which is the prevention of abuse and evasion would be left unachieved.
Thomas Händel concluded: “We don't want a policy that does not represent a significant improvement for the persons concerned. Under these conditions I will recommend that my group rejects this proposal.”