24 October 2017
EPSCO Council's agreement on equal pay for equal work, a key step towards a more social Europe

EPSCO Council's agreement on equal pay for equal work, a key step towards a more social Europe

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) adopted yesterday unanimously a general approach with regard to the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive.  Commenting on this political agreement, Yoomi Renström (PES/Sweden), CoR Rapporteur on the Posting of Workers Directive, underlined:

"I warmly welcome the decision of the European ministers for employment and social affairs to finally endorse the principle of equal pay for equal work in the same place for workers temporarily posted in another EU Member State. The free movement of services must go hand in hand with the effective protection of posted workers and the fight against wage and social dumping, which is a prerequisite for a well-functioning internal market and fair cross-border competition. I am delighted that the Council has agreed to bring long-term posting down from 24 to 12 months, a position defended by the European Committee of the Regions".

The Council's general approach comes a week after the adoption by the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the relevant report, with a strong socialist footprint. There will follow negotiations between the Member States, the European Parliament and the European Commission in order to finalise the agreement.

The European Committee of the Regions adopted its position in December 2016, making the CoR the first European institution to position itself on this sensitive proposal, contested earlier in 2016 by 11 Member States, which had invoked the so-called “Subsidiarity Control Mechanism” (or yellow card procedure). The adoption of the opinion by the CoR was a major victory for the PES rapporteur, who remained attentive to highly divergent concerns throughout the elaboration process while ensuring a coherent outcome.

It is worth noting that in 2015, there were 2.05 million posted workers in the EU, which represents an increase of 41.3% since 2010.  The construction sector has the highest concentration of posted workers (nearly 36%) and over 50 of overall postings take place between neighbouring countries.​​​