Navigation path

Share on 
	Share on Facebook
  
	Tweet it
  
	Share on google+
  
	Share on linkedIn
  
    
      E-mail
Set page to normal font sizeIncrease font size by 200 percentBookmark this pageChoose high-contrast version

Equal treatment

Updated 07/2014

Workers from other EU countries: equal treatment and no work permit

As an employer, you have a right to hire staff from any EU country. You must give jobseekers from other EU countries the same treatment as applicants from your own country. You cannot impose discriminatory criteria - for example on the basis of nationality - during the recruitment phase. You also have to provide other EU nationals with the same working conditions (salary, paid annual leave, etc.) as you offer your own nationals. Jobseekers from an EU country do not need a work permit to work in another EU country.

Citizens from Croatia might still need a work permit in some EU countries and some EU citizens need a work permit to become an employee in Croatia.

You can ask job applicants from other EU countries to demonstrate the language skills needed for the job, but the level of language knowledge required must be reasonable for the post.

It is also prohibited by law to discriminate because of:

  • gender (e.g. parental leave, promotion, pay)
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • religion or belief
  • disability
  • age
  • sexual orientation.

You can get help on recruiting across the EU from EURES - European jobs portal.

If your business is located in a border region, EURES can also advise how to deal administratively with any of your staff that commute from a neighbouring country.

Recognition of qualifications

When you recruit staff for a regulated profession in your country and you receive applications from jobseekers who obtained their qualifications in another EU country, they need to get their experience and/or professional qualifications recognised by a competent authority in your country. Note that there are specific EU rules in certain sectors (lawyers, air traffic controllers, pilots, etc.) about the recognition of professional qualifications gained in a different EU country.

Rules for the recognition of qualifications also apply to:

citizens with dual nationality, where one is an EU nationality
people from non‑EU countries married to an EU citizen.

If you are recruiting for a profession involving different activities, and a job applicant from a different EU country has qualified in his country for only one of the activities involved - and that activity is recognised as a stand‑alone profession in his EU country - the job applicant can only apply for a partial recognition of his qualifications in your country - for those job‑related activities for which the jobseeker is qualified.

Type of contract

Fixed‑term contracts

As a rule, you must treat your fixed‑term workers in the same manner as your permanent staff. When vacancies for permanent posts become available, you should inform them. Fixed‑term workers also count when calculating the threshold above which you need to set up staff representative bodies at your company.

Don't forget that EU countries are obliged to introduce 1 or more of the following measures in their national laws in order to prevent misuse of successive fixed‑term contracts (instead of open-ended contracts):

  • objective reasons for the renewal of fixed‑term contracts
  • maximum total duration of successive fixed‑term contracts
  • maximum number of renewals of fixed‑term contracts.

Part‑time work

When organising the work of your staff, take into account their needs for flexible working patterns. One way to do this is to use part‑time contracts. Part‑time staff may not be treated less favourably than your full-time employees.

As far as possible, give consideration to requests by your staff to transfer to part‑time positions or back to full‑time posts when they would like to work again on full‑time basis.

If you would like to transfer one of your staff members from a full‑time to a part‑time position and they refuse, this does not give you a valid reason to dismiss them.

 

 

Parental leave

 

 

Employees (male and female) are entitled to parental leave on the birth or adoption of a child - regardless of their type of contract (part-time, full-time, etc.).

You cannot dismiss staff because they requested parental leave, or treat them less favourably than other staff.

Both parents are entitled to at least 4 months leave each. As a general rule, employees cannot transfer their leave entitlement to the other parent. However, some countries may allow them to transfer part of their entitlement, but no more than 3 months.

Under EU rules, staff can take parental leave at any time until the child is 8 years old. However, this age limit may be lower in some countries, under national law.

After taking parental leave, an employee is entitled to return to the same job. If that's not possible, you must offer them a similar job in line with their employment contract.

If returning employees request temporary changes to their working hours/patterns, you are obliged to give this request due consideration and make a sound business case for any refusal.

Dig deeper, country by country:

Help & advice

Help & advice

Your Europe Advice is a source of expert advice for any issues you encounter in another EU country that involve EU law.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

Country

Austria

Feldkirch

Graz

Innsbruck

Klagenfurt

Linz

Salzburg

Wien

Belgium

Antwerpen

Arlon

Brugge

Brussels

Charleroi

Gent

Hasselt

Leuven

Libramont

Liège

Mons

Namur

Nivelles

Bulgaria

Dobrich

Plovidiv

Ruse

Sandanski

Sofia

Sofia

Stara Zagora

Vratsa

Yambol

Croatia

Osijek

Rijeka

Split

Varazdin

Zagreb

Cyprus

Nicosia

Czech Republic

Brno

Liberec

Ostrava

Ostrava

Pardubice

Plzen

Praha

Usti nad Labem

Denmark

Aalborg

Copenhagen

Herning

Kolding

Viborg

Estonia

Tallinn

Finland

Helsinki

Oulu

Tampere

Turku

Vantaa

France

Amiens

Annecy

Aulnat

Besançon

Bordeaux

Bourg en Bresse

Caen

Cayenne

Chalons-en-Champagne

Chambéry

Dijon

Fort-de-France

Grenoble

Lille

Limoges

Lyon

Marseille

Marseille

Marseille

Montpellier

Montpellier

Nancy

Nantes

Orléans

Paris

Pointe-à-Pitre

Poitiers

Privas

Rennes

Rouen

Saint-Denis

Saint-Etienne

Strasbourg

Toulouse

Valence

Germany

Berlin

Bremen

Bremenhaven

Chemnitz

Dresden

Düsseldorf

Erfurt

Frankfurt/Oder

Freiburg

Hamburg

Hannover

Kaiserslautern

Kiel

Konstanz

Leipzig

Magdeburg

Mannheim

Mülheim an der Ruhr

München

Osnabrück

Potsdam

Reutlingen

Rostock

Saabrücken

Stuttgart

Trier

Ulm

Villingen-Schwenningen

Wiesbaden

Greece

Athens

Heraklion

Ioannina

Kavala

Kozani

Thessaloniki

Tripolis

Volos

Hungary

Budapest

Debrecen

Győr

Nyíregyháza

Pécs

Szeged

Székesfehérvár

Zalaegerszeg

Ireland

Dublin

Italy

Abruzzo

Aosta

Apulia

Apulia

Ascoli Piceno

Basilicata

Bologna

Bologna

Cagliari

Calabria

Calabria

Campania

Catania

Catania

Florence

Genova

Gorizia

Milano

Milano

Milano

Molise

Naples

Naples

Palermo

Palermo

Perugia

Pesaro

Pordenone

Ravenna

Rome

Rovereto

Sassari

Sicily

Terni

Torino

Torino

Torino

Trieste

Trieste

Udine

Venezia

Venezia

Venezia

Latvia

Riga

Lithuania

Kaunas

Klaipėda

Vilnius

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Malta

Pieta`

Netherlands

Den Haag

Nieuwegein

Norway

Ås

Oslo

Stavanger

Tromsø

Poland

Bialystok

Gdańsk

Kalisz

Katowice

Kielce

Konin

Kraków

Lublin

Lublin

Olsztyn

Opole

Poznań

Rzeszów

Szczawno-Zdrój

Szczecin

Szczecin

Toruń

Warsaw

Warsaw

Wroclaw

Zielona Góra

Łódź

Portugal

Aveiro

Braga

Coimbra

Évora

Faro

Funchal

Lisboa

Ponta Delgada

Porto

Romania

Arad

Bacau

Bucuresti

Cluj-Napoca

Constanta

Craiova

Galati

Iasi

Ramnicu Valcea

Timișoara

Slovakia

Bratislava

Prešov

Slovenia

Koper

Ljubljana

Maribor

Spain

Albacete

Alicante

Badajoz

Barcelona

Bilbao

Bilbao

Ciudad Real

Donostia- San Sebastian

Ferrol

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Llanera

Logroño

Madrid

Murcia

Oviedo

Palma

Pamplona

Paterna (Valencia)

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santander

Santiago de Compostela

Sevilla

Toledo

Valencia

Valladolid

Vitoria- Gazteiz

Zaragoza

Sweden

Borlänge

Göteborg

Jönköping

Kramfors

Luleå

Malmö

Örebro

Östersund

Stockholm

Umeå

Västerås

Växjö

United Kingdom

Belfast

Bristol

Cambridge

Cardiff

Coventry

Inverness

London

Manchester

Newcastle

Yorkshire and Humber

Enter your message here

* required field (you must enter data here)