The EU knows many types of competition, meaningful and less meaningful. And many a competition has an ugly face, such as wage dumping. Hundreds of thousands, especially Eastern Europeans, work at low-cost fares in Western EU countries, some of them in miserable conditions, housed in shelters that do not deserve this name.
The instrument that prevents this is called the "EU Posting Directive". So far, the over 20-year-old directive has provided for temporary workers posted to work in another country minimum wage receive. But the pay gap across Europe made dumping easy. Last year, the European Parliament passed a reform of the scheme, which will ensure equal pay for equal work in the same place for posted workers in the future. It must be transposed into national law by mid-2020.
Sent this week Salvation now the corresponding bill for voting in the federal government. "We want to protect workers from wage dumping and companies from unfair competition," says Björn Böhning, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labor. In the future, generally binding and nationwide collective agreements will in principle also be applied to posted workers in all sectors. So far this applied only in the construction industry.
Remuneration instead of minimum wage
Important also: instead of as before they should not receive "minimum charges", but a "remuneration". The change in the term means that foreign temporary workers are not only entitled to wages and overtime rates, but also to supplements such as dirt or risk allowances or benefits in kind provided by the employer.
In addition, special protection should be given to those who are deployed for more than twelve or 18 months. They should not only receive the same salary, but benefit from all labor law regulations, whether regulated by law or in universally binding collective agreements. In addition: "In the future nobody will be able to deal with 'chain assignments' the protection by German labor law," says Böhning.
At the same time, it is to be made more difficult for posted workers, as is often the case nowadays, to be able to deduct the cost of accommodation, travel or meals from their wages. In the future, regulations will also apply to the requirements for accommodation provided by employers to foreign employees.
In the future, all temporary agency workers who work across borders will also be covered – regardless of whether the lender is based in Germany or abroad. For all temporary workers, the better working conditions of the state in which they are actually used should apply.
"We are closing the sometimes unworthy working and living conditions for workers from abroad," says Böhning. But at the same time that pursues Department of Employment with the project another goal. "We also want to give the law an incentive for the collective bargaining partners to conclude more nationwide, generally binding collective agreements." The law is due in January in the Federal Cabinet.