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Parliamentary questions
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18 December 2012
Question for written answer E-011516-12
to the Commission
Rule 117
Jutta Steinruck (S&D)

 Subject:  Social dumping through the posting of bogus self-employed persons from third countries
 Answer in writing 

There are more and more Polish building companies using employees from third countries, especially Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and the Russian Federation. Polish seasonal employment laws allow nationals of these countries to work for up to six months a year in Poland without a work permit. After working for one month in Poland they can be posted to Germany in order to provide services. Nearly all of them are employed on the basis of a ‘mission contract’, which in Poland is a widely used and popular means of circumventing normal employer-employee relations. Such contracts are only subject to limited social security contributions or none at all, and employees have no protection under labour law.

The Polish social security institution ZUS, responsible for issuing A1 posting certificates, is in favour of a broad interpretation of the term ‘employee’ within the meaning of Article 12 of Regulation (EC) 883/2004, allowing those working on such contracts to be viewed as legal employees. Not only is this dubious interpretation inconsistent with Polish law, it is also in breach of European standards.

As a result, A1 certificates of Polish social security rights are only issued for contractors not paying social security contributions. These certificates are fully binding and completely exclude application of German social security legislation. This means that Polish employees can post their employees to Germany without having to pay social security costs, thus disadvantaging employees and leading to distortions of competition.

1. Is the Commission aware of this problem?

2. Which steps could the Commission take to deal with this kind of wage dumping?

3. How can the posting of bogus self-employed persons from third countries be prevented?

Original language of question: DEOJ C 340 E, 21/11/2013
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