European Parliament is proceeding with a new directive on posting of workers. According to most experts, it will lead to closure of thousands of Polish companies in the service sector and will cause job losses for hundreds of their employees.
European Commission argues that these changes will bring back ‘equal treatment of workers’ and ‘fair competition between businesses. In reality the proposed rules will make it impossible for companies from poorer member states to compete with these from richer ones.
What is in the proposal and why is it dangerous?
The proposal in its’ current form will distort the competition within the single market in order to serve primarily businesses from a narrow group of richer member states.
One should not forget that companies posting their workers to provide services in other EU countries already bear a whole set of additional costs, which do not apply to the local firms. These costs result from complicated procedures of posting employees as well as additional costs of transport and lodging. According to the recent studies of the Cracow University of Economics, these additional charges make out about 32% of total labour costs. If all wages were to be arbitrarily equalled, the cross-border services would be, in every case, significantly more expensive than their local competitors.
The directive would also impose time limitations on posting workers, as well as other vague requirements, which allow for broad interpretation by national authorities.
These negotiations are already underway. To prevent disruptive legislation from taking toll on European companies, they cannot be left alone to politicians, governments, and diplomats. Constructive support must come from all stakeholders involved: employers, employees, and NGOs – like Labour Mobility Initiative. We are committed to engage in dialogue with European politicians, experts, and social partners. We still believe that our goals can be achieved. Please, join us and show your support for our common cause to make it possible.
Stefan Schwarz, Dr. Marek Benio, Rafał Rzeźniczak together with Members and the team of Labour Mobility Initiative