The government will have an opportunity today (Monday) to show good faith on its promise to enhance workers’ rights, and manage migration better, by backing stronger EU rules to prevent exploitation of migrant workers and wage undercutting.
The EU’s Employment and Social Policy Council of Ministers (EPSCO) will meet today to vote on proposals to tighten up rules on ‘posted workers’ – workers who are recruited in one EU country, but transferred by their employer to work in another.
The TUC has long campaigned for the rules to be tightened to avoid cases like the Lindsey Oil Refinery, where posted workers were used to undercut the usual rate of pay for a job.
The amendments to the Posted Workers Directive would strengthen EU-wide rules that reduce undercutting. And it would allow the UK government greater scope to protect workers from undercutting by ensuring all employers must respect industry-wide collective agreements. This would also help the UK better manage migration, says the TUC.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“This is a golden opportunity to get EU agreement on better protections for workers in Britain. The new rules would make it harder for dodgy bosses to undercut wages by exploiting migrant workers.
“It’s a test of Theresa May’s promise to enhance workers’ rights. She has the chance to support stronger protections for working people, and to manage migration better for Britain.
“It’s important for Britain to get a Brexit deal that keeps a level playing field with EU workers when rights like this are improved. Otherwise workers in Britain will end up with second class protections.”