European employers strongly against the revision of the posting of workers directive

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Representatives of German, French, Swedish and Polish employers' organisations expressed their strong concerns about the revision of the posting of workers directive during the conference entitled "Revision of posting directive – it is not only about posting and workers... Facts and myths". "The proposal is a form of hidden protectionism, undermines the four freedoms, and thereby hampers the single market," said Jacek P. Krawczyk, President of the Employers' Group, in his opening statement. The conference took place on 16 March 2017 in Brussels and was organised by the Polish Confederation "Lewiatan".

All panellists underlined that the revision had been undertaken without sufficient data on posting and without a proper impact assessment. They gave specific examples of the legal uncertainty and additional bureaucratic burden that the revision would cause. In the employers' view, the Commission should focus more on properly implementing existing legislation – including the enforcement directive, which was still not implemented in numerous Member States.

It was emphasised that the revision would be extremely harmful for after-sales services, which often must be performed by posted workers. In the case of road transport, the need to apply the national rules of each country would create an onerous administrative burden, which would discourage numerous companies from posting, thus distorting fair competition.

The "Molière clause" (obliging workers on public sites in France to speak French) was brought up in the discussion as an example of an illegal protectionist measure being introduced for political reasons.

The participants agreed that the discussion on posting was extremely politicised, despite the fact that it should remain a technical matter. Additionally, due to media reports, the posting of workers was often confused with illegal work and labour exploitation, something which employers strongly opposed and condemned.