Government proposes legislative amendments to increase equal treatment of posted workers

Published

The Government has decided to refer a proposal to the Council on Legislation for Sweden to implement the EU’s revised Posting of Workers Directive. In its referral to the Council on Legislation, the Government proposes legislative amendments that will create more equal conditions for posted workers and domestic workers. The Government also proposes tighter regulations on the notification obligation in connection with the posting of workers and an extension of the right of access for regional safety representatives.

“Swedish conditions and wages must apply in Sweden. The revised Directive is a victory for the Swedish labour market model. We are also going ahead with proposals to give regional safety representatives access to all workplaces that are bound by collective agreements. Under the current legislation, the requirement for an employee organisation to have a member at the workplace risks resulting in regional safety representatives not having access to workplaces where they are needed. The work of regional safety representatives is extremely important – it can ultimately be a matter of life and death,” says Minister for Employment Eva Nordmark.

The EU adopted the revised Posting of Workers Directive in 2018. The revised Directive means that posted workers must, to a greater extent, be treated in the same way as domestic workers in terms of pay and other working conditions. The revised Directive also contains provisions on enhanced protections for posted temporary agency workers and long-term posting.

In order to implement the revised Directive, the Government has now referred a number of proposals to the Council on Legislation that are to result in more equal treatment of domestic workers and posted workers in the Swedish labour market and enhanced protection for posted workers.

More equal treatment of posted workers

In its referral to the Council on Legislation, the Government proposes to enhance the conditions for posted workers in collective agreements. For example, the renumeration that may be demanded will no longer be limited to the minimum wage.

Increased protection for posted temporary agency workers who come to Sweden is proposed. It is proposed that they receive conditions  equal to Swedish temporary agency workers.

The protection for workers posted for longer periods will also be strengthened through a proposal that means that essentially all working and employment conditions will apply to them. Under the Government’s proposal, a posting can be considered to be long-term if different workers’ periods of posting are added together.

Stricter regulations on the notification obligation in connection with posting

In its referral to the Council on Legislation, the Government proposes stricter provisions on the obligation for service providers that post workers to make a declaration and to designate a contact person in the Posting of Workers Act. Service providers who post workers to Sweden will be required to make a declaration to the Swedish Work Environment Authority regarding  the posting and the  designated contact person in Sweden from the first day of posting. Currently, that obligation do not apply if the posting in Sweden is intended to continue for at most five days.

Service providers that post workers will be required to provide documentation to the service recipients in Sweden showing that a declaration has been made to the Swedish Work Environment Authority. Service recipients in Sweden will be required to notify the Swedish Work Environment Authority if the service providers that post workers does not demonstrate that the obligation to make a declaration has been fulfilled. A administrative penalty will be imposed if the service provider or the service recipient does not fulfil these obligations.

Extended right of access for regional safety representatives

Mobility in the Swedish labour market has increased. Workers stay for ever shorter periods in the same workplace and the proportion of fixed-term, hired and posted workers has increased. Developments in the Swedish labour market mean there is reason to assume that more workers now work in a workplace where there is no local safety representative than was the case previously.

In its referral to the Council on Legislation, the Government proposes an extension of the right of access for regional safety representatives through an amendment to the Work Environment Act. It is proposed that the regional safety representatives’ right of access be extended to workplaces where an employee organisation has no members but where the organisation is or is normally bound by a collective agreement with the employer.

The purpose of the proposal is to address the problems that have arisen in the changed labour market by strengthening work environment efforts in workplaces that lack organised local safety work, and thereby prevent ill health and accidents at work.