Nikada

Juncker Commission on home stretch

Provisional agreements on The European Labour Authority and The Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions.

SW – 02/2019

The European Parliament and the Council have agreed on two major social policy projects put forward by the current Commission:

 

·       The European Labour Authority and

·       The Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions.

European Labour Authority

On 14 February, the Council Presidency and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on establishing a European Labour Authority (ELA).

 

As part of the agreement, the controversial name of ‘European Labour Authority’ was changed. The new body will be known as the ‘European Labour Agency’. The majority of Member States were in favour of this, in particular because it would reflect the fact that the role of the ELA is restricted to supporting the Member States.

 

The compromise reached now sees the main tasks of the ELA as follows:

·       facilitate access to information by workers, employers and national administrations on their rights and obligations in cross-border situations,

·       support coordination between Member States in the cross-border enforcement of relevant Union legislation. This includes supporting concerted and joint inspections,

·       support cooperation between Member States in the fight against undeclared work, and

·       assist Member State authorities with resolving cross-border disputes.

The tasks of the following institutions will be transferred to the ELA:

 

·       the EURES European Coordination Office,

·       the Technical Committee on the Free Movement of Workers and the Committee of Experts on Posting of Workers, and

·       the European Platform to enhance cooperation in tackling undeclared work.

 

The aim is to establish a permanent structure that ensures fast responses and continuity with a view to achieving improved and more efficient results on the basis of strengthened cooperation. The Commission’s proposal to transfer the activities of the Technical Committee and the Audit Committee of the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems to the ELA was not supported by most institutions. Relevant references to these committees have been removed.

The umbrella associations of Germany’s social insurance system had welcomed the Commission’s intention to support fair worker mobility by establishing the ELA. However, the German Social Insurance was critical of plans to transfer the bodies and tasks of the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems to the ELA, particularly with respect to a potential loss of synergies and expertise (see article Aug 2018).

 

In terms of mediation, disputes concerning the coordination of social security systems should remain as part of existing competences, that is, the conciliation procedure of the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems will continue to apply.

 

The agreement will be submitted for approval to the Council of Permanent Representatives. Once the agreement has been confirmed by the Permanent Representatives of the Member States, it will be submitted to the European Parliament for a final vote in plenary.

Transparent and predictable working conditions

On 7 February, an agreement was reached on the Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions.

 

The proposal repeals the Written Statement Directive and introduces a set of minimum labour standards designed to ensure that all workers, including those in non-standard employment, have more security and clarity regarding their working conditions (see articles from Jun 2018 and Nov 18).

 

The provisional agreement must now be formally approved by the European Parliament, probably on 16 April, and by the Council.