MEPs vote to improve conditions for workers outside their home countries

EPA / FOCKE STRANGMANN

A construction worker works on reinforcement bars at a construction site in Bremen, northern Germany, 18 May 2017.

MEPs vote to improve conditions for workers outside their home countries


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EU workers who are temporarily working in a European country outside of their own will be paid the same salary as their local counterparts, according to revised rules that the European Parliament approved with a vote of 456 MEPs in favour, 147 against, and 49 abstentions.

An estimated 2.3 million workers – which represents a69% between 2010 and 2016 – in the EU who found themselves posted to a Member State where they do not hold citizenship or are unable to return to their home country.

The new rules that aim to improve the protection of workers, and ensure conditions of fair competition for companies, all of which are designed to guarantee fair remuneration.

According to a common practice in the construction sector, all of the EU Member States can now apply broad and representative regional or sectoral collective agreements to improve working conditions and to guarantee that the expenses of travel and accommodation will be borne by the employer and cannot be deducted from the workers’ salary.

Employers must also ensure that the accommodation conditions for the individuals in question meet the EU’s standards and are in accordance with the national legislation.

The new regulations stipulate that the Member States must cooperate to guarantee the protection of workers under the conditions of the EU’s directive, with the period of displacement fixed at a maximum of 12 months, which includes the possibility of a six-month extension. Once the mandated displacement period has expired, workers may continue to reside and be employed in the Member State where they are assigned, but the working conditions will be subject to the rules of the host country.

The bloc’s Member States will now have two years to transpose the agreed measures into their national legislation.

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