The European Commission has rejected an appeal to reconsider proposals which would force EU companies to pay their posted workers in line with wages in their host country.
Ten national parliaments from central and Eastern Europe along with Denmark had objected. The proposals will mean that firms in Poland, for example, will have to pay Polish workers temporarily sent to Belgium the same wage as Belgians.
The Commission was under pressure from richer countries such as France and Germany to keep to the proposals. Their populations fear they are losing out on jobs because of unfair wage competition.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has previously said that same pay should apply “for the same job at the same place.”
Marianne Thyssen from the EU Commission for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility confirmed this, saying: “posting of workers is a cross-border issue by nature and any posting activity, has effects in at least two member states. the rules on posting necessarily create rights and obligations between persons in different member states, that is between an employer in a member state of origin and a worker who temporarily resides in another member state.”
There are currently 1.9 million posted workers in the EU, which is 0.7 percent of the total EU employment. Half of these workers are sent to three countries: France, Germany and Belgium.
An average hour of work in Belgium costs an employer €39 where as in Bulgaria it is €3.80 and in Poland €8.40 (Eurostat data 2014.)