Posting of workers

Posting of workers

We say a worker is “a posted worker” when he is employed in one EU Member State but sent by his employer on a temporary basis to carry out his work in another Member State. For example, a service provider may win a contract in another country and send his employees there to carry out the contract. This trans-national provision of services, where employees are sent to work in a Member State other than the one they usually work in, gives rise to a distinctive category, namely that of “posted workers”. This category does not include migrant workers to go to another Member State to seek work and are employed there.

To guarantee that the rights and working conditions of a posted worker are protected throughout the European Union, and to avoid a situation where foreign service providers can undercut local service providers because their labour standards are lower, the European Community law has established a core of mandatory rules regarding the terms and conditions of employment to be applied to an employee posted to work in another Member State. These rules will reflect the standards of local workers in the host Member State (that is, where the employee is sent to work).

The idea is that where a Member State has certain minimum terms and conditions of employment, these must also apply to workers posted to that State. However, there is nothing to stop the employer applying working conditions which are more favourable to workers such as, for instance, those of the sending member State (that is, where the employee usually works).

There are three situations in which the provision of services involves the posting of workers. First, a firm can send its employees abroad to perform a contract for service concluded with a third party client or a subcontract. Second, within a group of companies, staff can be temporarily assigned to an establishment located abroad in order to provide services. Thirdly, a temporary employment agency based in one country can supply labour to a client enterprise located in another country.

All posted employees shall be entitled to receive equality of treatment as the comparable employees and in particular they shall have equal access to employment rights and health and safety rights under Maltese law.

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