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Europe – EU wants more protection for temporary workers

22 March 2012

The EU Commission wants to increase protection for temporary workers who are temporarily posted abroad. Yesterday the Commission said that the proposals are designed to eradicate abuse and exploitation of employment rules.

Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Commissioner, László Andor, also announced that there should be stricter controls for employment agencies in the future to avert social dumping.

It is estimated that over one million temporary workers are sent abroad each year with Germany, France and Belgium representing the top destinations for such workers. The construction industry accounts for a quarter of these workers and will therefore be particularly affected by any new regulations, especially when it comes to the joint and several liability clause which will hold the main contractor responsible for securing working conditions for temporary employees, even if it uses a foreign sub-contractor.

The Commission believes that working conditions for temporary workers who are sent abroad are not always met and said that temporarily posting workers must not be used to evade minimum social standards. He emphasised that the proposals would clarify the rules on posted workers, and put practical safeguards in place against social dumping.

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