In contrast to other industrial sectors, the construction industry produces, by means of mobile production techniques, immobile and stationary products in the form of infrastructure works and buildings. In the construction industry, it is the workers that move around rather than the products. It is therefore an industry characterised by the high mobility of its workforce.
In this framework, the "Posting of Workers" Directive (2018/957 of 28 June 2018, which amended the original Directive from 1996) constitutes a central piece of European legislation for the construction industry on which FIEC worked very actively. It aims at reconciling the exercise of the freedom to provide cross-border services under Article 56 TFEU with appropriate protection of the rights of workers temporarily posted from one EU country to another.
As a globally positive result, it sets out mandatory rules at EU level that must be applied to posted workers in the host country. It establishes a core set of clearly defined terms and conditions of work and employment that must be complied with by the service provider in the host country, with the aim of addressing the problem of unfair practices and to promote the principle that the same work at the same place should be remunerated in the same manner.
Since 2019, this issue is closely monitored by the European Labour Authority (ELA), which has been established by Regulation (EU) 2019/1149.
The main aims of the ELA are: improving the access to information by individuals and employers about their rights and obligations in the areas of labour mobility and social security coordination; strengthening operational cooperation between authorities in the cross-border enforcement of relevant Union law, including facilitating joint inspections; providing mediation and facilitating solutions in cases of disputes between national authorities.
The ELA is led by a Management Board and FIEC is member of the Stakeholders’ Group. In addition, several working groups have been set up: on (improving) information from public authorities to companies and workers, on joint inspections and on mediation.
Also, in 2021, important stand-alone bodies which were dealing with mobility-related issues (i.e. the Committee of Experts on Posting of the European Commission and the EU Platform against Undeclared Work) in which FIEC was sitting, have been incorporated into the ELA.
Moreover, in 2023, the ELA is dedicating a series of activities related to the construction sector, including the publication of a Report on information provision, enforcement, social security coordination and cooperation between Member States in relation to posting of workers in the construction sector.
FIEC is actively involved in all these activities.