CECIMO Press Release: Posting of Workers Directive
On the occasion of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) held in Brussels on 6 December and the ongoing discussion on the European Labour Authority, CECIMO would like to bring the failings of the Posting of Workers Directive to the attention of the EU Ministers responsible for Employment.
CECIMO, the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies, appreciates the European Commission’s efforts to ensure fair wages and guarantee a level playing field between posting and local companies in the host country. Nevertheless, our industry underlines that the revised Posting of Workers Directive, despite its ambition, sets unnecessary barriers for businesses in their transnational provision of services. This is a serious problem for the internal market.
“Businesses and a number of member states have brought their concerns to the attention of the European Commission regarding the revised Posting of Workers Directive and particularly its protectionist nature. The posting of Workers Directive impedes the freedom to provide services and the free movement of workers – both of which should be guaranteed across Europe,” says Filip Geerts, CECIMO’s Director General.
CECIMO recognises the importance of labour mobility and the cross-border provision of services as a cornerstone of the European single market. In view of the mounting skills shortages in our sector, it is critical for our companies to have access to a pool of talent across the EU, which respond to our production needs and can contribute a great deal to the growth potential of businesses. Thus, machine tool manufacturers often rely on worker mobility to provide technical assistance activities or other technical services that cannot be provided by the local workforce. It is vital that machine tool builders are able to provide these cross-border services (e.g. installation of a machine in another country) in a timely manner and with the minimum bureaucracy to ensure business continuity.
Unfortunately, the new rules that apply to the posting of workers is an example of ‘gold-plating’ in EU legislation. In fact, many of the 28 Member States already have special notification requirements for foreign workers, not to mention the obligation to provide documentation in their national language and the designation of a legal representative in the host country. Furthermore, these measures are constantly evolving in every single country, obliging companies (before posting workers) to thoroughly analyse the host country’s legislation and requirements.
As a result, doing business as an SME within the European single market is far from smooth. Legal uncertainty and increased red tape discourage SMEs, which form the backbone of Europe’s manufacturing sector (80% of European machine tool manufacturers are SMEs), from posting workers. The new Directive will eventually lead to a significant increase in administrative burdens for companies, as they will need to compare renumeration packages when they post workers. This constitutes a clear restriction of the freedom to provide services.
CECIMO calls for the European Commission to ensure Member states correctly implement the exception allowed by the current Posting Directive for initial assembly and/or installation, as well as postings for all short-term operations. Companies need practical tools and further simplifications to alleviate the financial costs and resources required to comply with bureaucratic procedures. For example, a step in the right direction would be to agree on common reporting requirements for posted workers at European level and the same kind of documents to be submitted in all member states in English.
CECIMO is the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries and related Manufacturing Technologies. We bring together 15 national associations of machine tool builders, which represent approximately 1500 industrial enterprises in Europe (EU + EFTA + Turkey), over 80% of which are SMEs. CECIMO covers 98% of the total machine tool production in Europe and about 39% worldwide. It accounts for more than 150,000 employees and a turnover of nearly €24 billion in 2015. More than three quarters of CECIMO production is shipped abroad, whereas half of it is exported outside Europe.
For media enquiries, contact:
Filip Geerts, Director General of CECIMO
Tel +32 2 502 70 90