Business & Economy

EU - New rules improving enforcement of workers' rights

15 April, 2014

New rules, adopted by the EU`s Council of Ministers on Monday make it easier for people working or looking for a job in another country to exercise their rights in practice.

The European Commission, proposing the rules in April 2013, welcomes the development, noting in an announcement that the new Directive ensures better application at national level of EU citizens` right to work in another Member State.

Member States now have two years to implement the Directive at national level.

The Directive aims to remove existing obstacles to the free movement of workers, such as the lack of awareness of EU rules among public and private employers and the difficulties faced by mobile citizens to get information and assistance in the host Member States.

To overcome these barriers and prevent discrimination, the Directive will require Member States to ensure one or more bodies at national level to provide support and legal assistance to EU migrant workers with the enforcement of their rights.

Also, effective legal protection of rights - including for example protection from victimisation for EU migrant workers who seek to enforce their rights - and easily accessible information in more than one EU language on the rights enjoyed by EU migrant workers and jobseekers.

Commissioner for Employment László Andor welcomes the Directive`s approval, notng that “this is good news for all those who want to work or are already working in another Member State”.

Currently 3.3% of the EU labour force, or 8 million people, live and work in another Member State. An additional 1.2 million people live in one EU country but work in another.