European Union/posting of workers
The European Union member states have today approved, by a very large majority, the compromise negotiated between the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission on the implementing directive on the posting of workers.
Labour Minister Michel Sapin and Minister Delegate for European Affairs Thierry Repentin welcome this new step forward for social Europe, following the agreement on the draft directive for which France and its allies fought hard at the European Council of Labour Ministers on 9 December 2013.
The agreement is indeed a success for France and for Europe. It shows that Europe can be built through ambitious social proposals. The new rules will enable us to combat fraud and social dumping more effectively.
Among other things, they will enable controls to be strengthened and responsibility to be placed on contracting companies vis-à-vis their subcontractors in the construction sector. Indeed, they establish an obligatory mechanism placing responsibility on the contractor in the place of its subcontractor if the latter has failed to comply with the rules set by the directive, particularly with regard to the payment of wages. Each state will have to introduce this mechanism, or an equivalent sanctions mechanism for contractors.
France anticipated the transposition of the directive through the Savary private member’s bill, examined at the National Assembly last month, which builds on our national legislative arsenal. The bill even goes beyond the directive by establishing an obligatory responsibility of mutual support in all sectors. Concurrently, the government is conducting a determined policy of strengthening controls on the ground, particularly thanks to the active role of the labour inspectorate.
The draft directive must now be adopted by the European Parliament at the April session. With a few months to go until the European elections, this new step forward proves that the EU can help provide responses that match the challenges and our fellow citizens’ concerns./.