Eastern European workers targeted with the introduction of equal pay?

09.03.2016 | European Parliament , European Union
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Eastern European workers targeted with the introduction of equal pay?

It would disadvantage the competitiveness of European companies if the bill proposed by the European Commission on the posting of workers is adopted – argue some members of the European Parliament. The proposal would modify the directive in force since 1996.   In the opinion of MEP Csaba Sógor the Equal work for equal pay principle proposed by the Commission would adversely affect not only entrepreneurs who have activities abroad but also Europe's competitiveness in general. This is the reason for which the proposal divides MEPs.

European Commissioner in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen presented the proposed amendments to the directive during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on March 8th. According to the document drafted by the Commission, the directive in force since 1996 should be revised in order to fight abuses, fraud and social dumping. Therefore the Commission proposes that people who do the same work in the same country should get the same pay. While the objective of the proposal is justifiable, a number of MEPs are sceptical because, according to them, it would have an adverse effect on the free movement and workers and freedom to provide services on the common market across borders.

 " I cannot find the logic in modifying the Posting of Workers Directive before the transposition deadline of the Enforcement Directive hasn't even lapsed yet and before its effects cannot yet be felt: New action should only be taken after it has been ensured that the existing - properly enforced and controlled - legislation is not enough. I believe that this is especially true for the case at hand, when we are dealing with basic principles of the Single Market: freedom of movement and freedom to provide services across borders. We should be extremely cautious that in our efforts to fight against abuses, fraud and lack of enforcement (which I agree that are needed) we do not run the risk of creating bureaucratic and other barriers in face of labour mobility and, ultimately, European competitiveness",  stated Csaba Sógor. 

The next steps of the process are for the European Commission to submit its proposals to be debated in the European Parliament.