Seven countries want fair rules for posted workers in EU

Seven European countries want to see fair rules on posted workers in the EU. Besides the Netherlands, they are Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden. Initially, social affairs and employment minister Lodewijk Asscher seemed to stand alone in calling for changes to the Posted Workers Directive. Today he will send his ideas in a letter co-signed by the other six countries to Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen.

According to Mr Asscher, the Posted Workers Directive allows workers from other EU countries to work in the Netherlands for less pay than Dutch workers, by claiming that they are offering their services temporarily. The Dutch government wants to end unfair competition on workers’ pay and conditions. Mr Asscher insists on equal pay for equal work in the same place. ‘The government supports the free movement of workers. But it must go hand in hand with better protection of workers,’ he says.

Mr Asscher hopes the Commissioner will act swiftly to adapt the Directive. It helps that many other countries support this aim. The government is taking a number of measures to stop the race to bottom in social protection for workers. It will also put the spotlight on decent work during its Presidency of the EU in 2016.