EU without borders: the East and the West are arguing to work right

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What you always wanted to know about the «posting of workers Directive», but never dared to ask. The EU is fighting over a relatively small part of the labour market. Here the answers are.

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Macron against wage dumping

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President Macron scourged wage-Dumping

Workers who are employed by a company in their home country and temporarily in another country for this company to work in the European Union under the «posted workers Directive». The Reform of this EU-law there is dispute. The French President, Emmanuel Macron wants to tighten the rules to protect French workers at home. The Polish government head Beata Szydlo don’t want to interfere in the posting of workers Directive, because the Polish workers are to be found in the Western EU countries of their Livelihoods. Where are the problems? Five questions, five answers:

1. What is the «posting of workers Directive regulates»?

In the EU, a large wage gap between the Eastern and Western member States divide. Companies from Poland, send their workers to Belgium, because they are cheaper than comparable Belgian workers. This posting is limited usually to two years. The workers of Poland must be paid in Belgium, the minimum wage in the construction industry. Social and tax duties for these workers in their home country, Poland, is due. On the construction site in Belgium, the same labor protection laws, leave apply to all workers and working time rules. The Directive does not cover those EU citizens who migrate to another country and settle there. For the national law of the country of Immigration. The «Posting» dates back to the year 1996, has been revised and should in particular promote cross-border labour market in the EU.

2. What does not work in the case of the posting of workers?

In some regions of France or of Belgium, the foreign workers have displaced the local companies, because they are cheaper. The posted workers are squeezed by high housing and utility costs from their employers, and often in the minimum wage. There’s work to legal trickery with bogus self-employment or temporary employment agencies give employees. Regulations on working hours, social Standards, safety and security.

The EU Commission has therefore recommended in March of 2016, a Revision of the Directive, the «clear, must be fair and simple». The competent EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said. Up to October 2017 to some of the EU member States on new rules. Therefore, the French President Emmanuel Macron is fuelling the discussion with his proposals. Macron oracles are consulted, even, the EU will not break if the fight against «Social Dumping» were to succeed.

Huge wage differences: posting pays for workers from Eastern Europe

3. How big the Problem really is?

From the statistics it is rather small. In the year 2015, according to the EU Commission two million «posted» workers in the EU. That’s not even a percent of all employees in the Union. The most Posted were from Poland (more than 460,000), from Germany (240.000) and from France (140.000). The target countries of these workers in Germany (420.000), France (180.000) and Belgium (150.000). About half of the posted workers are not construction workers or service workers from Eastern Europe, but highly qualified Employees with special tasks for a limited period of time from a high-wage country to the other. Also, they fall under the posting of workers Directive.

Poland has certainly benefited most from the rules of the posting of workers legislation, but also sent to Poland, make up only a fraction of the Polish labour market, namely, four per cent. In France, the complains the loudest about the posting of workers Directive, to work only 0.9 per cent of the employees under the rules of the Posting of workers Directive. It is not the real undeclared work and the employment of illegal workers is taken into account here of course. They are not recorded in the statistics of the EU Commission. To combat these abuses is the responsibility of the local Supervisory authorities in France, Poland, Belgium, or Germany.

4. What should be changed?

France, Germany and other high-wage countries want to control on the principle of «equal pay for equal work in the same place». A Polish workers in Belgium should earn instead of the minimum wage exactly as much as its Belgian counterparts, according to Belgian law on collective bargaining. This goal is not achievable in the short term, because the Eastern European countries to see the competitiveness of their businesses at risk.

Therefore, the French President, as well as the EU Commission wants to achieve, as a first step, that the payment of Overtime and allowances is regulated by the law of the host country. Furthermore, the sending company, its workers accommodation and Transport are expected to pay at the place of work. The duration of the deployment will cut in half, Emmanuel Macron, from two years to one year, to low-wage-to get rid of competition. In practice, the «sending time» today on average, but already, only four months.

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5. How’s the political discussion?

Properly were excited by these ideas is the least Eastern European heads of government who visited Emmanuel Macron in the last few days. The German government has signaled Macron, that you would go along with it. The EU-Commission in Brussels, is confident that a compromise will succeed. The was reached in June. But President Macron tightened his claims again with the halving of the sending period.

Especially in Poland and Hungary walls. The Polish government wants to leave everything as it is, stressed the head of government Beata Szydlo. It is due to many other issues with Brussels in the Clinch and wants to defend the Directive, «to the end, because it comes to the interests of the Polish workers.» The German trade unions welcomed the proposals for Reform. The employers ‘ Association (BDA), the Reform unnecessary, because up to now was not even the last Reform, which was decided two years ago, in the EU and fully enforced.