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The entitlements of Posted Workers

In March 2016 the European Commission announced a long-waited revision of the twenty year-old Posted Workers Directive, which regulates the entitlements and protects workers sent by their employer to another EU country on a short-term project.

Posted workers are individuals who are employed in one European Member State but sent by their employer to work temporarily in another Member State before returning home. They are different from EU mobile workers in that they temporarily remain in the host Member state without integrating into the local labour market.

According to the UK's TUC (Trade Union Congress), "There are nearly 2m posted workers in the EU and while they have increased significantly between 2010 and 2014, they remain overall a small percentage of the workforce (0.7%). The UK is the fifth receiving country, behind Germany, France and Belgium with around 50,893 workers posted to the UK and concentrated mainly in construction (74.7%) and business services (8.6%)."

EU law defines a set of mandatory rules regarding the terms and conditions of employment to be applied to posted workers

  • to guarantee that these rights and working conditions are protected throughout the EU
  • to avoid "social dumping" where foreign service providers can undercut local service providers because their labour standards are lower.

The 1996 Posted Workers Directive (96/71/EC) provides a framework so that both businesses and workers can take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the single market. The Directive supports the freedom to provide services across the EU and provides both fair competition for businesses and respect for the rights of the workers.

The 2014 Enforcement Directive (2014/67/EU) builds on the mutual co-operation information and enforcement requirements in the 1996 Directive and should have been transposed into national legislation by June 2016.

The following article from Italian experts Lablaw explains how the Italian lawmaker has chosen to implement the directives and sets out the obligations for those considering worker postings in Italy.

Download and keep this article

 Paola Salazar

Paola Salazar

Of Counsel, LABLAW Law Firm
T: +39 02 3031 1318

 Sharon Reilly

Sharon Reilly

Partner, LABLAW Law Firm
T: +39 02 3031 1318

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