The European Labor Authority Is Here to Observe the Enforcement of Labor Mobility Rules

//The European Labor Authority Is Here to Observe the Enforcement of Labor Mobility Rules

This newsletter has been drawn up by the attorneys at law of Zamfirescu Racoți Vasile & Partners with considerable experience in labor law.

Free movement of people is a fundamental right of the European project. Over 17 million of European citizens have chosen in recent years to take advantage of the freedom of movement within the EU and started to live or work in other countries than their own. Among them, some have a specific legal status: the posted workers.

Tasked with making labor rules across the European Union fair, effective and enforceable, the European Labor Authority (ELA) provides workers and employers with better access to information on their rights and obligations and supports national labor authorities in their cross-border activities. Following the obligation of the member states to ensure the observance of the revised Posting of Workers Directive by 2020, the new transnational regulatory body took its first steps in October 2019 aiming to implement the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The revised Directive comes as a support to set mandatory rules that will ensure a minimum number of rights in the host states for this category of EU employees.

For a better understanding, a “posted worker” is, as defined by the Directive, an employee who was sent by their employer for certain services in another EU country on a temporary basis. Such worker can be under a service contract, an intra group posting or hired via a temporary agency.

To facilitate free movement of workers within the Union and also to stabilize the new rules on labor mobility, ELA shall be able to fulfil a wide range of activities, from providing national authorities with operational and technical support to carrying out inspections and even settling disputes.

In this respect, the main functions of ELA will be to:

  • facilitate access to information for both employees and workers on their rights and obligations;
  • support coordination between member states in cross-border enforcement of relevant EU law;
  • monitor compliance with European labor law rules;
  • ensure mediation and facilitate a solution in cross-border disputes.

These main responsibilities are aimed at improving cooperation between member states and come to reduce the current challenges faced by the labor market, such as little or lack of support and guidance for individuals and businesses in cross-border situations, and weak capacity of national authorities to organize coordination with authorities across borders.

Although considered a step in the right direction, the Directive still raises concerns regarding the uniform interpretation of the rules and the varied transpositions into national laws, mainly with respect to the different interpretations and meaning of “posting”.