Revision of the Directive on the Posting of Workers - LABOUR MOBILITY PACKAGE

In “Employment and Social Affairs - EMPL”

PDF version

For a brief overview of the key points of the adopted text and its significance for the citizen, please see the corresponding summary note.

On 8 March 2016 the European Commission proposed a targeted revision of the rules on posting of workers within the European Union to ensure they remain fit for purpose (COM(2016) 0128 final). The proposal contained changes in three main areas: remuneration of posted workers, including in situations of subcontracting; rules on temporary agency workers; and long-term posting.

Further to the protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, annexed to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), 11 Member States' parliaments or chambers submitted a reasoned opinion: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. As the threshold of at least one third of the votes was reached, the 'yellow card' procedure was triggered. On 20 June 2016 the European Commission concluded that the proposal did not constitute a breach of the subsidiarity principle and decided to maintain it.

The EMPL Committee published its draft report on 2 December 2016, which aimed to establish a balance between ensuring a level playing field for undertakings and granting social protection for workers. Main suggestions included the extension of the legal basis to articles on workers' rights, the improvement of information for employers and workers, as well as on transparency. Member States are given the autonomy to determine the concept of remuneration on their own territory, but they should ensure that posted workers receive all due entitlements. Double payment of elements constituting the remuneration in the home and the host Member State should be avoided. The directive should not affect the freedom to strike and to conclude collective agreements. In order to avoid cascade postings, the same terms and conditions should apply for workers hired by subcontractors or temporary employment undertakings.

The draft report was adopted on 16 October 2017 in the committee. On 25 October 2017, the Plenary voted on the draft mandate to enter into informal negotiations with the Council.

In the Council, the Slovak and the Maltese Presidency presented several suggestions on long-term postings, remunerations, collective agreements, subcontracting, temporary agency workers. These topics were discussed by the preparatory body (the Social Questions Working Party) of the Council several times.

At the EPSCO Council of 23 October 2017 the Council agreed on a general approach regarding the Commission`s proposal and adopted a proposal for a directive concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services:

  • the Commission's key principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place was confirmed
  • all terms and conditions of the host country should apply in the case of postings exceeding 12 months (this delay can be extended to 18 months)
  • the implementation of the Directive in the sector of road transport will be addressed through specific rules also reinforcing the fight against fraud and abuse
  • Member States should adopt and publish, by 3 years after the entry into force of this Directive, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with it. 

The Committee of the Regions adopted its opinion on 7 December 2016. The Economic and Social Committee also adopted an opinion on 14 December 2016.

The 2018 Commission work programme and the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, held in Gothenburg on 17 November 2017 recalled the need for progressing swiftly on pending social files at EU level, including on Posting of Workers and Social Security Coordination.

In the trilogue meeting of 19 March, an overall provisional agreement has been reached, which was confirmed by the COREPER Council on 11 April and endorsed in the EMPL Committee on 25 April.

The text was adopted in Plenary on 29 May 2018 and by the Council on 21 June 2018. The final act was signed on 28 June 2018. Member States shall adopt and publish, by 30 July 2020 at the latest, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive.


Further reading:

Author: Monika Kiss, Members' Research Service,

Visit the European Parliament homepage on Social Europe




As of 20/11/2019.