If your business has a contract with business partners based in other EU countries and your staff need to go to that EU country for a limited period in performance of the contract, you will have to respect ‘posting’ rules for them. These rules also apply if you send a staff member to a business you own in another EU country. In both cases there must be an employment relationship between you and the posted staff.
Posting rules also apply if a placement agency or a temping agency hires someone from a different EU country to work in a business registered in their country. In this case an employment relationship must exist between the worker and the temping or placement agency.
Conditions of employment in the host country
For the duration of the posting you must guarantee your staff the same conditions and terms of employment as those in force - either by law or collective agreements - in the host country with regard to:
- minimum rest periods
- maximum working time
- minimum paid annual holidays
- minimum wage - allowances specific to the posting (such as daily allowances) are considered to be part of the minimum wage unless you pay these allowances in reimbursement of costs actually incurred by your posted staff (such as accommodation and travel expenses)
- protective measures for pregnant women and women with babies
- equal treatment between men and women.
If the terms and conditions of employment in your own country are more favourable to your staff than in the host country, you can of course maintain these conditions also during posting.
If initial installation and/or initial assembly of certain products is an integral part of your contract and your skilled staff have to carry out these activities, the minimum pay and annual holiday requirements are not obligatory if the whole posting lasts for less than 8 days.
EU countries may decide - after consulting employers’ and employees’ representatives - that the host country's minimum pay and annual holiday requirements need not apply if the whole posting lasts for less than 1 month. This exemption does not apply to workers posted through placement agencies.
National contact points
EU countries have one or more contact points for companies that post staff abroad. These bodies cooperate and share information, monitor the terms and conditions of employment during the posting, and follow up alleged infringements of the rules. The contact points can also inform foreign businesses wanting to post staff about the terms and conditions of employment in their country.
Social security rules for posted workers
While working temporarily in another EU country, posted staff can stay covered by the social security system of the country where they worked before the posting.
There are different rules concerning social security during posting for employed staff and self-employed workers.
Dig deeper, country by country: