On 15 July 2021, the European Commission launched infringement proceedings against 24 Member States concerning the implementation of the 2014/67/EU Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive.
The Commission has sent letters of formal notice to Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. In other words, the Commission is initiating dialogues regarding alleged maltransposition of the Directive in all Member States except Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
The Enforcement Directive aims to strengthen the practical application of the rules on posting of workers by addressing issues related to fighting fraud and circumvention of rules, access to information, and administrative cooperation between Member States. In 2019, the Commission published a report on the application and implementation of the Directive at national level.
The letters of formal notice have not been made public, but according to the Commission press release the various infringement proceedings concern some or all of the following provisions of the Directive:
- administrative requirements and control measures in place to monitor compliance with the rules on posting of workers;
- defence of rights of posted workers and protection from retaliation;
- subcontracting liability and protection of posted workers;
- effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties;
- application and collection of administrative penalties and fines across borders.
As a first step, Member States have two months to reply to the letter and to take measures. Based on this, the Commission will decide on whether to send reasoned opinions. The ETUC will be following the process closely together with its national affiliates.
It is of utmost importance that the rights of posted workers are protected and effectively enforced. However, the ETUC is concerned that the infringement proceedings may in some cases also be targeting safeguards put in place at national level as part of the transposition of the Enforcement Directive. National measures protecting workers must not be considered as obstacles to the provision of services.