The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) submitted to the Riigikogu a draft Resolution containing a reasoned opinion on why the proposal of the European Commission on the Posting of Workers Directive, presented in March, does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity.
Chairman of the Committee Kalle Palling said that Estonia did not wish to join the solutions that may interfere with one of the fundamental freedoms of the European Union, the free movement of services. “Free movement of services is an important fundamental principle of the European Union. The desire of the European Commission to establish equal pay conditions may result in our companies losing their competition advantage on the single market of the EU,” Palling noted.
The European Union Affairs Committee will involve the representatives of the Estonian business associations and organisations of workers and employers in the discussion in order to get their opinion. The Government will submit its positions on the Posted Workers Directive to the Riigikogu on 28 April at the latest.
The European Union Affairs Committee is of the opinion that the proposal of the European Commission does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity because the planned changes may damage the competitiveness of our companies in the provision of services in other Member States of the European Union and restrict the free movement of services. The Committee is of the opinion that the need for interference at the European Union level is not sufficiently justified.
Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic have already submitted a reasoned opinion on the Posting of Workers Directive to the European Commission; Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Denmark are considering it.
The deadline for transposing the 2014 Enforcement Directive of the Posting of Workers Directive is 18 June 2016. “It is too early to start amending this directive,” Palling said. “The Commission should wait for the impact of the Enforcement Directive and then present its proposals, if necessary.”
The European Commission has prepared a proposal for amending the Posting of Workers Directive that aims to unify the conditions applicable to posted workers and local workers, including pay and working conditions. The proposed amendments would limit the maximum duration of posting to 24 months, and from then onwards, the labour law conditions of the host country will be applied to the posted worker. The proposals will have an impact on the employers who post their workers to other Member States or who receive posted workers.
In Estonia, the A1 form for posted workers was issued around 7000 times in 2014; that corresponds to nearly one percent of workers. The average percentage in the European Union is 0.7. Last year, about 3000 workers from other Member States were posted to Estonia.
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