Important legislative proposal that expands upon the Swedish labour market model in situations involving the posting of workers
The Government has adopted the government bill ‘New posting regulations’. These legislative amendments help create a more effective and efficient system for the protection of the rights of posted workers under the EU Posting of Workers Directive and the Enforcement Directive. The legislative proposal also contains provisions aimed at increasing transparency and predictability when posting workers so that it will be easier for companies that post workers to find out what conditions apply in the Swedish labour market.
"This is an important legislative proposal that expands upon the Swedish labour market model. I welcome the fact that workers come to Sweden from other EU countries to work here. But free movement within the EU does not mean a green light for exploiting people. Competition between companies must be based on skills, not reduced wages or poor working conditions," says Minister for Employment and Integration Ylva Johansson.
The fact that there are Swedish collective agreements is essential for posted workers to be guaranteed a minimum wage in Sweden and for our labour market model to work even in situations involving posted workers.
The basic premise of the Swedish labour market is that the social partners negotiate on and reach collective agreements on employment conditions. The proposal in the bill on expanded opportunities to reach collective agreements that regulate the conditions for posted workers is intended for situations where it is not possible to reach this kind of voluntary agreement.
The proposed legislative amendments mean that trade unions will always be able to demand a Swedish collective agreement with regard to posting employers, ultimately by means of industrial action. This will strengthen protection for posted workers and opportunities for trade unions to ensure that these workers actually receive the wage and other employment conditions to which they are guaranteed by employers under the Posting of Workers Directive.
It is also proposed that posted workers who are not members of the trade union that concluded the agreement should have the right to demand certain collective agreement conditions in a Swedish court. Retaliatory protection for posted workers is also proposed.
The bill also includes provisions on increased transparency and predictability when posting workers, intended to improve the ability of foreign employers to find out in advance what conditions apply in the Swedish labour market.
It is proposed that the legislative amendments enter into force on 1 June 2017.
The Government's continued efforts at EU level
The Government is working in parallel at EU level to bring about an amendment to the Posting of Workers Directive so that it will be possible to demand the same wage for foreign workers working temporarily in Sweden as for domestic workers, with respect for the free movement of services.