Posting of workers to Europe – the potential, the burden

The market of the EU as a whole is continuously developing, thus the amount of workers sent cross-border to perform some kind of a service in another Member State continues to steadily increase. In 2015 more than a 40% increase in postings was reported by the European Commission in comparison with 2010. Even though COVID-19 has hit hard the transnational provision of services in 2020, making another 5-year comparisons not appropriate today, almost 3 million Portable Document A1 (PD A1) forms were issued in 2018. Needless to say, the amount of people, sent out across national borders to perform some sort of work is on a trend, that will keep on going up with time.

Among the top receivers of such workers is Germany, for which it has been reported to have the largest amount of incoming posted workers in the past, with France and Belgium respectively taking the 2nd and 3rd place. While this, for example, speaks well for market potential, it also raises a flag of caution to those organisations, who plan on making the jump to expand within other Member States’ markets. It is important to know and understand the administrative aspect (and burden) of managing such postings. Organisational growth is great for business, so, where do companies should start from?

Understanding the concept of “posting”

The first thing to do is look into labour mobility and understand what a “posting” really is. The official definition for a posting outlines it as a case, when an employee is sent out by his employer to carry out a service temporarily in another EU Member State. This must not be misunderstood with mobile workers, which go to another country, and integrate within the labour market on a long-term or permanent basis. A “posted” employee is only temporarily sent by his employer to provide a service. This leads to a common question by small and medium-sized enterprises “what do I need to do?”.

The core of any posting to EU Member States lies within the terms and conditions of employment, upon which an organisation sends out its workers to perform a service. A set of basic rights are incorporated within these terms, guaranteeing, that the posted worker will have a fair minimum rate of pay, work and rest periods, annual leave, health and safety and so on. These terms aim to not only guarantee the worker’s rights throughout the EU, but also protect the receiving country’s service providers from social dumping practices.

To ensure lawful and just postings of workers, the Posting of Workers Directive (PWD) was accepted in 1996, and in 2014 it was further complemented by the Enforcement Directive (ED). With PWD’s goal being the protection of worker rights, their equal treatment and conditions, ED is concerned for the most part with issues, surrounding the circumvention of rules, inspection and monitoring for joint liability or fraud, and the overall exchange of information regarding the postings between Member States. Naturally, complying with both directives is what all organisations strive for, less they wish to be subject to hefty fines. So, what’s the administrative procedure for managing the postings of workers?

Quick overview of the posting process

While some details vary from country to country, the process mainly follows four steps. You start by identifying the terms and conditions for the respective worker’s posting, therefore complying with the PWD. After that, you incorporate them within documents with both the employer’s and employee’s agreement, so that everything is in order, should an inspection occur during the posting. The third step is notifying the national authority ( on their online platform) of the Member State, where the worker will be posted. Finally, you need to safely store the documents of the posting for a set period of time, required by the respective country’s legislation.

It may not seem much, but considering the dozens of countries you can post workers to within Europe each having its own business sector categorisation with unique posting regulations, it is easy for employers to take a wrong step along the way. If the posting isn’t properly managed, instead of realising their organisation’s potential, employers can quickly realise the burden of long weeks, spent in research, various consultancy fees, potential fines and more, becoming over-encumbered in the process. As such risk management meetings often lead organisations to face the choice – “Should we find someone to outsource this troublesome process to, or come up with a way to efficiently manage this in-house?”.

While plenty of companies exist across Europe to consult you about a specific business sector of your interest within a Member State, not many centralised solutions exist. WorkisrOund’s package of automated solutions is one such example. You can simply select which country and sector you will be posting the workers in, and the already researched and validated terms and conditions will automatically show up, saving you the effort. The agreement between employer and employee, often recorded in an assignment letter, carried throughout the posting, is also included in the package – just fill in the necessary information, and print-out or download the document for e-signing. Notifying the Member State, which will receive the workers, can also be done in mere minutes, regardless of the amount of workers you need to process on the respective national posting authority website. Since Member States also have their own unique requirements towards document storage, we provide this service within the package as well.

The takeaway

Whether in-house or outsourcing, employers are bound to sooner or later reach this fork in the road, reach a conclusion, and make a choice. If outsourcing is the way to go, there are plenty of consultancy firms, which address national legislation and regulations. If you want to keep the cost to minimum and not be dependent on externals to manage your process, then in-house packages of posting of worker services, like WorkisrOund’s one, is the way to go – such solutions are designed to be simple, yet quick to adopt, easy to integrate, and effective at addressing the administrative burden, that is managing the posting of workers.

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