Euro Posting

Information concerning posting:
Goals for accessing and sharing information

On-line access to information

Information concerning posting is decisive in enabling companies and workers to exercise their right to mobility on the internal market.
Any deficiencies in this area impact the effectiveness of service provider rights. As an example, the French employers’ organisation representing temporary work companies has indicated that temporary work companies wary of incurring prosecution do not offer their services to Member States because they do not know which rules apply. The cross-border activity of small and medium-sized companies without a large Human Resources department to manage such a complex operation is also affected by a lack of information.
With respect to employees, this lack also has a negative impact. The infringement of legal rules on posting is frequent (non-respect of the minimum wage, working hours, payment of transportation and housing fees, etc.) and results in wages which are equivalent to those of the country of origin (as a reminder, minimum monthly wage ranges from €157 in Romania to €376 in Poland; source: eurostat 2013). In any case, whatever the information available, the widespread unemployment in the habitual country of residence has an impact on employee choice. Workers will give priority to obtaining a job rather than to the respect of their social rights in the country where services are provided. This situation represents a major issue for those who aim to ensure that the social rights of posted workers are respected.

Inventory of websites

In terms of access to information, we can currently affirm that information is available on sites with a European scope (the European Commission site, the site of the social partners for the construction industry) and on the public administration sites of Member States. All Member States involved in this project have made posting information available on the site of the public authority in charge of controlling all or part of legal rules, in the local language and in one or more other languages of the member states with which there are a large number of exchanges. (An example is the  Polish Work Administration site, which has translated information into German, English and Russian; the Finnish site offers translations into Swedish, Estonian, English and Russian.)
An analysis has enabled noting deficiencies here and there (difficulty of find the sites using a search engine, absence of information for national companies and workers, absence of translation into another language, absence of precise and/or up-to-date information, absence of information on the social security system, …).
Correspondingly, it is interesting to note that information on posting is not supplied by work administrations alone. Thus, in Finland the tax administration provides information for national companies planning to post employees in another country and for foreign companies present in Finland. Employer organizations also relay information, as is the case in Finland, where the employers’ organization for the construction industry together with the Finnish Construction Trade Union created and made available online a guide designed for companies using foreign labour in Finland. .
Other web trends show that information has been diversified to reach specific audiences and take into account their specific needs:

  • In Poland, the labour inspectorate site has made guides for Polish migrant workers available online; these guides are made according to the destination country: Austria, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands.
  • In France, the campaign targeting farmers who use provided services was relayed by the labour administration services, agricultural social security and the employers’ organisation.
  • In Denmark, social partners in the construction industry have created a site dedicated to risk prevention for each type of building trade in four languages.
  • In Portugal, several administrations have relayed a major campaign targeting migrant Portuguese workers in foreign countries (whether posted or not) to inform them of their rights (see

    ACT Campaign (Portugal)

  • Finally, Internet has enabled spreading information and denouncing bad practices tied to posting. The stop social dumping site provides eye-witness accounts of abuses in the construction industry on the European level. The Faire mobilitaet site developed by DGB does the same for Germany for all professional sectors. The goal is to publicise online all forms of abuse tied to mobility (posting and false freelance workers) by relaying press articles and TV reports on the topic. The site also enables informing workers from the new member states of the assistance available to them at six counselling centres. The site has been translated in four languages.

Improving communication

The current goal is to make these sites live by regularly updating them, enriching them, making them known and linking to them. Project participants, in particular those who attended the first workshop in Strasbourg, have submitted several proposals.
  • To improve contents:

    • They suggest building these sites in partnership with the social partners to ensure they correspond to real needs;

    • They suggest improving the contents related to occupational health. Although some Member States strongly promote occupational health, and this is reflected in the contents of their Web pages (Denmark, Finland), other sites do a rather poor job of providing the necessary information on occupational health and safety for construction sites involving several dozen foreign companies which intervene simultaneously.
  • To facilitate access to poorly referenced websites and reassure site visitors concerning the quality of information found on the site, participants suggest:

This project could also provide an opportunity for Member States and social partners to enrich their current sites with links to web pages providing useful information on posting (sites maintained by the public administrations and social partners of the Member States concerned by posting activity).
Top of page

Reaching out to stakeholders

Although Internet is a formidable communication too, many participants stressed that the people who need to consult the sites do not do so and that to reach this audience, the best way is through a physical presence at workplaces, border posts, places of worship, etc. Here, there are two obstacles: isolation of posted workers and their refusal to communicate.
Isolation of posted workers is organised on purpose by the service provider, and the more vulnerable the workers (citizens of countries outside the EU who require a permit to work in EU states before they can be posted in a Member State, inability to speak the language, physical isolation, absence of means of transport), the easier this is to do. The service provider assumes the role of sole purveyor of essential needs for the workers.
As concerns worker refusal to communicate, the social and cultural history of posted workers makes them wary of trade unions which are active in the host country. The intervention of these unions at the posting site is felt to be a potential menace to worker employment.

To combat this, trade unions in the host country count on workers who are from the same country as the posted workers, but who have become established in the host country and/or have built partnerships with their counterparts in the home country.
Thus, the CFDT agricultural union established a partnership with the Bulgarian organisation NFZGS Podkrepa in order to have easier access to workers in both Bulgaria and France.
France-Bulgaria Trade Union Information Strategy

At major construction sites, although information is more complex to organise because of the large number of companies present and the mixture of nationalities, we see initiatives to provide directly information for workers present at a site: Flamanville (France) Experience
Top of page

The awareness challenge

The client: a key player

In addition to the need to provide information on legal frameworks, project participants emphasize that one major issue consist in mobilizing stakeholders in these operations to improve the quality of service provided and working conditions (see the field : Anticipating Preventing).
During our work, a consensus has emerged: in the agricultural sector or construction operation “client” play a key role in acting on the conditions under which these parties implement services provided.
Motivating them can thus result in effective action.
The goal is to raise awareness amongst these key players in order to encourage them to find a balance between the economic constraints they must face and the implementation of service operations which respect the rights of recruited workers.
Faced with these opposing demands, the idea is to develop arguments which highlight shared interests, leading to improved quality of services, and demonstrate that the “lowest price” in the short term can be very expensive on human and economic levels in the long term.
In the construction industry, subcontracting strategies based on the lowest cost can lead to situations where the contractor loses control of the “process” when confronted with the difficulty of coordinating teams made up of different nationalities or of workers who are not qualified for the job to be done.
Feedback from “clients" and professional organisations working on projects has shown that this strategy affects work quality, prolongs deadlines and lowers the performance of the companies involved.
When workers are underpaid and poorly housed, when working conditions deteriorate or when fraud concerning taxes or social protection is involved, this leads to civil or criminal prosecution which are echoed in the media and damage the image of the client concerned .

Flamanville (France) Experience

For this reason, there is a pressing need for clients to implement regulatory and supervisory mechanisms and even to verify the operations. Sensitisation actions carried out jointly by public authorities and professional organisations on the European level could play an important role in this respect.

Luxembourg Campaign

Raising posted workers’ awareness

As for the trade unions, they point out the need to make posted workers aware of legal information concerning their rights. The challenge is not an easy one because it is difficult to reach workers in their workplaces.
They are often wary and sometimes even afraid; several eye-witness reports describe the pressure put on them by employers to block communication between them and trade unions in the host country.
Trade unions emphasise that the economic conditions in which some workers find themselves, lead them to accept levels of remuneration and social protection which are well below those provided for in legislation passed in the host country.
The disparity in standard of living and salary between workers in Member States and the unemployment faced by candidates for posting means that failure to comply with their rights is not an obstacle to their mobility.
The Belgian CSC has implemented a system which aims to welcome, inform and support Polish workers coming to work in Belgium.

Information workers Belgium

Experience has shown that these workers manifest themselves most often when they are confronted with their employer’s insolvency, with fraud related to their social protection, or with issues related to work accidents.
In such cases, defending worker rights requires support which is implemented after the fact so that they can begin civil procedures to regularise their situation. Labour inspectors from the home country who receives these employees when they return indicate that these procedures are long and difficult to implement because of a lack of proof or the existence of problematic contractual documents.
In the workshops, these inspectors have mentioned the vulnerability of posted workers when they are ready to leave the host country. This can lead them to sign documents (some workers, for example, have even signed two different work contracts with the same employer) which place them in a delicate situation when it comes to legally defending their rights.
They observe abuses concerning human rights at times that constitute violations and sanctions listed in the Directive dated April 5, 2011 on the prevention of human slavery, the combat against it and the protection of victims (Directive 2011/36/UE the transposition of this directive must be effective on April 6, 2013).
In light of this situation, the usefulness of a campaign to sensitise workers before posting is obvious, and several initiatives have been developed in this direction.

EURES Polska web site

ACT Campaign (Portugal)

SASeC, a construction sector initiative (Romania)

Information workers Belgium

Top of page

Mobilizing actors “relay”

Thus, some method elements can beidentified from these campaigns.

  • The first step is to clarify the objectives and identify target audiences.
  • The second is to question the contents, and the added value of these activities with regard to the online information is that they can go beyond the provision of information the legal framework.
More practical, more educational, more appropriate and specific target audiences better suited to their needs and concerns as well as arguments will be disseminated according to the aim pursued.
To optimize these campaigns reach wider audiences, partnerships will be able to develop with others, we can call actors "relay".
The "working abroad" campaign conducted in Portugal was promoted and coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the “Working Conditions Authority” (ACT),
the Directorate General of Consular Affairs and Portuguese (DGACCP) Communities, Institute of Social Security (ISS ), the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training ( IEFP) .
The scope of the information provided was well beyond the specific information on the posting of workers, but the importance of this inter-institutional partnership has resided in the scope of the action taken on the territory, spreading very broadly to useful information, including for future workers.
Besides the number of documents distributed ( 5,000 posters, 50,000 brochures, leaflets 100,000 ) , events ( European Job Days in Portugal) have been conducted and reported by the media (TV , radio, newspapers ) that played a role in the dissemination of information.
In Luxembourg, are mayors who relayed messages to sensitize “clients” in the construction sector at the time of issuance of building permits.
Places "bridge "can be identified: government attended by companies or employees, chambers, places of worship frequented by Polish workers (Belgium).
Embassies and consulates may also contribute to deliver information.
Top of page


In matters of posting, the Information Stone Age is behind us, even if corrective steps must still be made. Authors and audiences have become diversified; trade unions are structuring themselves on an international level to face the challenges. In this current period of crisis in public finances, stakeholders support similar aims and find the way to share tools which have been created among players with the same goals.

Top of page