Posting staff abroad
You must respect the ‘posting' rules if:
- your business has a contract with business partners in other EU countries (In this case, the 27 EU member states) and your staff need to go to that EU country for a specific period for the purposes of providing services
- 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 person being posted.
Posting rules also apply if the person is hired through an agency providing temporary staff and is coming to work for you from a different EU country than that where your business is registered or is operating. In this case, an employment relationship must exist between the worker and the temporary or placement agency you use.
Conditions of employment in the host country
You must guarantee your staff the same conditions and terms of employment throughout their posting as those in force - either by law or universally applicable collective agreements - in the host country in relation to:
- minimum rest periods
- maximum working time
- minimum paid annual holidays
- remuneration (including its all mandatory elements) as defined in national law or universally applicable collective agreements
- health and safety at work
- protective measures for pregnant women, women who have recently given birth and young people (under the age of 18)
- equal treatment between men and women
- the conditions of workers' accommodation in the host country, if this should be provided by an employer
- allowances or reimbursement of expenditure to cover travel, board and lodging costs when required during the posting assignment
If these employment terms and conditions in your own country are more favourable to your staff than those of the host country, you should maintain these conditions during the posting.
For sectors other than the construction sector, the remuneration and annual holiday requirements are not obligatory when:
- the initial installation and/or initial assembly of certailn products by specialised members of your staff is an integral part of your contract with the partner in the other country; and
- your staff is posted to the other country for a period of less than 8 days per year
EU countries may decide - after consulting employers' and employees' representatives - that the host country's remuneration and annual holiday requirements do not apply if the whole posting lasts for less than 1 month. This exemption does not apply to workers posted through agencies providing temporary staff.
For more information, check the practical guide to posting.
Long term posting
If the posting period is longer than 12 months (or 18 months if you submit a motivated notification to the host country) you must guarantee your staff all the mandatory terms and conditions of employment of their host country, except those regarding the termination of their contract or supplementary working pensions.
For more information on the motivated notification procedure, please check the national website of the host country.
Social security rules for posted workers
While working temporarily in another EU country, your posted employees, or you as self-employed, can continue to be covered by the social security system of the country where they worked before the posting.
As an employer, you must inform the host country's administration in advance, and request a form called Portable Document A1 (PD A1) issued by the social security institution in the country where the employees are insured. The PD A1 confirms that the posted employee is registered under the social security system in your home country and does not need to pay contributions in the country of posting.
When requesting the PD A1, you need to specify the start and end date of the posting in the other EU country. The maximum period you can indicate on the form is 24 months.
If the posting period lasts longer than 24 months or needs to be prolonged, you as an employer can:
- request the issuer of the PD A1 to grant an extension – this is not granted automatically and is subject to a mutual agreement between the home and the host countries
- let your employee subscribe to the social security system of the host country
National contact points and websites
Each EU country has at least one contact point which can give you detailed information about posting workers abroad. Contact points also cooperate and share information, monitor the terms and conditions of employment during the posting, and follow up alleged infringements of the rules.
For more information, check the national website of the host country.