German association of the private home care – VHBP (Verband für häusliche Betreuung und Pflege e.V.) has recently published a position paper on the revision proposal of the posting o workers directive.
VHBP Association is fomed by 35 members. Mostly companies specializing in advising and intermediation in provision of the home care services for the elderly and disabled. VHBP is considered as very influential. On invitation of the German government, they participate in the implementation process of the enforcement directive into the German regulations.
Why VHBP’s opinion is so important?
The position paper, delivered to the German MEP’s deserves attention for a few reasons. First, they are very critical to the European Commission’s proposal, which they consider as threatening tens of thousands of German seniors who have been living safely taken care of by the professional care personnel posted from Eastern and Central Europe. Second, it represents the perspective of the host (receiving) country. Moreover, the opinion highlights potential social problems brought by the directive revision proposal. Facing the aging of the society, every year the private home care services will play a bigger social role.
The proposed revision of the rules of posting will not only fail in fulfilling the aimed pro-social goals. It will cause an opposite result and hurt the most vulnerable ones – the seniors.
Most noteworthy, nowdays, about 200 000 of the elderly and disabled Germans live in their own houses. They live under the care of foreign persons. Despite such a huge demand, on the German labour market there is not enough of the care personnel. In Germany there is currently no existing alternative for the model based on the work of foreingn care takers posted by the service providers from other EU member states.
VHBP recommends to the European Parliament:
- to focus on fighting the undeclared work and black market,
- taking into account the specifities of the private home care sector,
- not imposing disproportional burdens that small enterprises will not be able to bear.
VHBP estimates that 90% of the foreign care takers in Germany work illegaly. Furthermore, black market in this sector existed long before the EU got larger. It becomes even more well-organised because of the internet and human trafficking networks.
The cost of employment of the care taker on the black market by a German family is very low. It is 60% cheaper than service of a person posted from Poland.
Due to the specifities of the home care sector, implementation of the regulations proposed will be impossible in practice. Apart from the economic unprofitability, entailed by the new rules of posting in the field of home care services, the new legal requirement will cause the ‘minefield of problems and uncertainities”. In addition, Polish service providers will be forced to simultaneously comply with the rules of of two legal systems. System of the country sending the posted workers and of the receiving one. Also, the nature of the care takers duties does not fall within the framework pictured by the proposal.
The proposal also completly ignores the specifics of the services provided to the private persons – to which the home care belongs.
Effects expected by the directive revision
Hence, the Commission’s proposal will not only have impact on the posted workers, their employers and clients. German sociaty will bare the consequences. The home care services will not be avialable anymore for many of the German families. It implies the necessity of locating the seniors in the nursing homes. This will involve engagement of huge public funds. What is more, the infrastructure avialable in Germany is not sufficient. Limited places for the new patients have depleted long time ago.
Finally, these concerns reveal the brutal confrontation of the perceptions and reality in the field of posting of workers. They prove that the posting of workers directive revision does not meet the real needs. It will cause disturbance on the market which will hurt us all.