Employment and Social Policy Council : Posting of Workers: Ministers Divided over Two Key Measures

Article excerpt

The Council is far from reaching an agreement on the proposed directive to improve the implementation of the 1996 rules on the posting of workers. During the Employment and Social Policy Council, on 6 December, ministers were strongly divided over two key measures; the first, on national administrative requirements and control measures (Article 9), and the second on joint and several liability of subcontractors for compliance with minimum wages (Article 12) in the construction sector.

The proposal, presented in March 2012, aims to provide a better legal framework for situations where a worker is sent to work in another member state for a limited period and in the context of a defined provision of services. It provides a clearer definition of what consitutes the notion of posting', clarifies rules to promote efficient cooperation between member states, lays out the possibility of applying national control measures and introduces a limited system of joint responsibility in the context of subcontracting at EU level.

According to the current Cyprus Presidency of the EU, considerable progress has been made during the six working meetings that have been held on the general measures (Chapter 1), access to information (Chapter 2), administrative cooperation (Chapter 3), the enforcement of cross-border fines and penalties (Chapter 6), and final measures (Chapter 7). "Nonetheless, a number of questions still need to be resolved, such as national control measures (Article 9), inspections (Article 10), the defence of rights, the facilitation of complaints and payment arrears (Article 11), subcontracting and joint responsibility (Article 12)," emphasised Cyprus' Employment Minister, Sotiroula Charalambous.

During an exchange of views, many ministers supported joint responsibility of subcontractors with regard to the respect for minimum wages in the construction sector. …