Pilot experience on the cross-border workers

SENIOR LABOUR INSPECTORS COMMITTEE (SLIC) CAMPAIGN ON TEMPORARY WORK AGENCIES 2017 – 2019

The SLIC Plenary held in Athens (May 2014) approved to carry out Organising a Pilot Experience on Cross-border Enforcement in the course of the SLIC Campaign on Temporary Agency Workers (TWA).

Cross-border enforcement has its legal ground in the Directives 96/71/EC and 2014/67/EU when regulating the cooperation between Labour Inspectorates on posting of workers in order to prevent abuses or possible cases of unlawful transnational activities.

This cooperation has the purpose to monitor terms and conditions of employment referred to in Article 3 of the Directive 96/71 that specifically includes Safety, Health and Hygiene at Work among other matters.

The Directive 91/383/EEC on occupational safety and health of workers with a fixed-duration employment relationship or a temporary employment relationship will be the main common reference for the SLIC campaign on TWA.

The aims of the Pilot Experience are to combat fraud, abuses and circumvention in the scope of the Temporary-work Agencies that carry out cross-border activities and to put into practice all forms of mutual assistance in cross-border enforcement.

The most common frauds and abuses on OSH conditions that could affect more specifically to posted temporary agency workers are:

  • Lack of OSH training and medical surveillance for posted workers.
  • Psychosocial risks caused by further distance and therefore a lack of social support and communications among the people involved.
  • Lack of medical care and declaration of work related accidents to the host country authorities
  • Bad conditions for travelling and accommodation

Another aim of the pilot experience is to implement and test all forms of mutual assistance provided in the Directives 96/71 and 2014/67 such as:

  • Spontaneous information: where there are facts that indicate possible irregularities, a Member State shall, on its own initiative, communicate to the Member State concerned any relevant information without undue delay (Art. 7.4 Directive 2014/67)
  • Request for Information: when Inspectorates are replying to reasoned requests for information from competent authorities and in carrying out checks, inspections and investigations with respect to the situations of posting (Article 4 of the Directive 96/71 and Article 6 of the Directive 2014/67).
  • Joint Teams of Inspection: exchange between officials in charge of the implementation of administrative cooperation and mutual assistance as well as monitoring the compliance with, and enforcement of, the applicable rules (Article 8.1 Directive 2014/67 and bilateral agreements between the Labour Inspectorates involved).
  • E-handbook on cross-border enforcement: included in the Communication of the Commission on “Safer and Healthier Work for All – Modernisation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health Legislation and Policy” published on 10.01.2017 in order to update information on Labour Inspectorates’ tasks and competences in every Member State.

All SLIC Members may participate in the Pilot Experience and can join this initiative at any time throughout the campaign. SLIC Working Group on Cross-border Enforcement will coordinate the actions.

The development of the pilot experience within the SLIC Campaign could take place in two stages: the inspection visit to TWA in one country and the inspection visit to User undertakings in another country in any order. Joint teams with Inspectors from both Member States would be set up for inspection visits to user undertakings.

Information about the pilot experience will be disseminated during the Final Conference of the campaign in May 2019.  The objective should be making Guidance on Cross-border Enforcement, which includes experiences of collaboration and comparative methods, practices and minimum standards on OSH inspection.