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EC Posting of Workers Directive - Directive 96/71/EC

What the EC Posting of Workers Directive Does
With an implementation date of 16 December 1999, the EU Posted Worker Directive requires that where a Member State has certain minimum terms and conditions of employment, these must also apply to workers posted temporarily by their employer to work in that state. The EC Posting of Workers Directive does not prevent workers benefiting from minimum terms and conditions which are more favorable and are applied in the state from which they are posted.

Directive 96/71/EC terms include maximum work periods and minimum rest periods, minimum paid annual holidays, minimum rates of pay, including overtime rates, conditions of hiring out workers, in particular the supply of workers by temporary employment undertakings, health, safety and hygiene at work, protective measures in the terms and conditions of employment of pregnant women or those who have recently given birth, of children and of young people and equal treatment between men and women and other provisions on non-discrimination.

The EU Posted Worker Directive also establishes the principle that undertakings from non member countries must not be given more favorable treatment than similar undertakings in Member States (i. e. that workers from such undertakings must benefit from the same minimum terms and conditions of employment to those applicable to workers posted from undertakings in Member States).

Application of the EU Posted Worker Directive In Italy
The Italian legislation, when implementing EC Directive 96/71 by means of Legislative Decree 72/2000, extended the scope of application of the EC Posting of Workers Directive so that the relevant provisions apply not only to employers located in EC member states but also to employers located in non-EC countries. The main labor area which is relevant in the case at issue as a consequence of the above provisions is vacation (expatriates shall benefit from the same number of days of vacation or holiday established in the applicable collective agreement), the other being minimum salary, daily and weekly days-off, safety at work place, maternity, parity between men and women.

An US Expatriate Vacation Example In Italy
What the Italian application of the EU Posted Worker Directive means in the case of a US expatriate manager assigned to Italy is that the manager would be considered equivalent to Italian national employees covered under the collective bargaining agreement for “dirigenti” in the commercial and tertiary sector ("CCNL"). Such “dirigenti” employees contractually must receive no less than thirty days of vacation per year. Italian application of the EC Posting of Workers Directive thus means that the assigned employee must receive thirty days of vacation, even though the terms of the US policy may provide for only two weeks of vacation.

Posted Worker
An employee who for a limited period, carries out his or her work in the territory of a EC Member State other than the State in which he or she normally works.

Collective Agreement Application
EC Member States may also apply certain mandatory collective agreements to posted workers and have the option not to apply some terms and conditions to certain groups of workers.

Application of National Employment Law
In certain countries, such a
s the United Kingdom, while national terms and conditions mandates apply to non EC expatriates, it is not yet clear whether legal remedies for unjust dismissal will apply to posted workers from non EC countries
.

jbriggs@worldwideconsulting.com

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