New European Commission’s report on A1 forms (2015 statistics)

A new report “Posting of workers. Report on A1 portable documents issued in 2015” has just been published. Prepared at the European Commission’s request, it was authored by Frederic De Wispelaere and prof. Josef Pacolet of HIVA KU Leuven. 

The same authors, on the EC’s commission also prepared reports in the previous years. They are a substantive basis for the Commission’s legislative initiatives in the field. However, in practice, their results are often ignored, which was particularly noticeable in case of proposal of the Posting of Workers Directive’s revision. The latest report contains some very interesting and “fresh” statistical data for 2015. Below, we provide some most engaging ones and we invite you to read the entire document. 

A1 forms (A1 PDs)

According to the report, the total number of A1 PDs issued in 2015 is approx. 7% higher as compared with 2014. It amounts to 2,05 million. Nonetheless, this number is still only a small fraction of the total number of the employed in the EU. Moreover, the amount of A1 PDs issued is not equal to the number of the posted workers. If the first value was calculated into the full-time equivalents – it turns out that posted workers are ~0,4% of the total amount of the persons employed in the EU. Moreover, the number contains ~8% of the self-employed

With the general increase in the number of A1 PDs pursuant to art. 12 of Regulation 883/2004 by 2.8%, their number for Poland decreased by 6%. However, as for A1 PDs of art. 13: the total increase is 19% and for Poland – as much as 33%. It proves that the Polish employers more and more frequently post workers to work in 2 or more countries. In this context, the authors notice the high amount of person employed in the transport sector. 


Three main posting countries still are: Poland (463 174 A1 PDs issued), Germany (240 862) and France (139 040). The Polish Social Insurance Institution issued 23% of all A1 forms in the EU. Although, still most of the A1 PDs is issued in the ‘old EU’ countries. The number for the EU15 is 56%. For the EU13 (the ‘new EU’) it is still 44%. It opposes the common perception that workers are posted mostly from the East to the West of Europe. 

The main receiving countries in 2015 were: Germany (418 908 A1 PDs), France (177 674), Belgium (156 556) and Austria (108 627). 28% of the forms were issued for Germany. Austria also saw significant increase. 

Sector-specific situation

The percentage within particular sectors has also changed. In construction – it decreased from ~43,7% in 2014 to ~36%. For the first time the transport sector was so clearly distinguished – with 10,6% of the A1 PDs issued. It probably relates to the toughening provisions in some Member States regarding drivers in international road transport. Their employers, until recently, were not obliged to apply for A1 PDs. 

New trends

The data reveal an interesting trend. Among the largest flows of workers posted between the sending and host countries, including over 30 000 A1 PDs issued each time – 5 are the flows from low-wage to high-wage countries. However, the other 5 are flows between the high-wage ones only. What is more, the latter ones are on the rise. 

Instead of conclusions

Overall conclusion from the report is that posting of workers mechanism becomes more and more popular each year. At the same time, its structure changes – number of workers posted to 2 or more countries increases. The sector with the biggest amount of A1 PDs issued is still construction. This report also proves the Polish employers’ success. Almost ¼ of all A1 PDs issued, are the ones issued by the Polish Social Insurance Institution. The situation may change if the targeted revision of the PWD is adopted in the shape proposed by the European Commission. LMIA’s President Stefan Schwarz often warned against negative effects in various media outlets.

IV European Labour Mobility Congress, whose speaker co-authored the report, last year gathered over 400 participants, among other employers, lawyers, administration representatives and top experts from all over Europe. More information about the biggest annual event on posting of workers in Europe is retrievable here: