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Fair working conditions at the Council of Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Social Affairs and Health
18.4.2016 13.00
Press release 52/2016

The Informal Council of the EU Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs is held in Amsterdam on 19–24 April 2016. The Finnish representatives at the meeting are Minister of Justice and Employment Jari Lindström and Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Mäntylä.

Minister Lindström will participate in the discussion on the proposal for amending the directive on posted workers. According to the Commission proposal, a state where a posted worker works for more than two years is to be considered as one where his or her work is habitually carried out. The employment legislation of that country would be fully applicable after two years of working there.

The Commission also proposes that in cross-border work the rules applied by foreign temporary agency work companies with regard to their employees should be the same as those applied by the domestic ones. For subcontracting chains equal employment conditions with the employees of the main contractor could be required if the same rule is also applicable to domestic subcontracting.

Finland will further examine the details of the proposal and its impacts. Finland supports the objective concerning equal treatment of workers and wishes to further specify the directive, also in line with the decisions of the EU Court. The rules concerning posted workers should continue to facilitate service provision, secure the rights of workers and promote fair competition. Posted workers must not be used to circumvent the employment legislation of another Member State

Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Mäntylä participates in a session on the European Pillar of Social Rights on Wednesday 20 April. The pillar aims to improve employment, working conditions, welfare systems and social protection, workers' health and safety protection, and integration of persons excluded from the labour market. Income disparities and inequality both between and within the countries have grown in Europe. There are serious social challenges in all EU countries with regard to meeting the objectives set for social protection.  This is why Finland is very pleased that the Commission has now put social rights in focus in the restructuring of our economies and working life.

The Commission gave a Communication on the pillar in March 2016, laying down the key EU principles for employment and social policy in support of functioning and fair labour markets and social welfare.

The public hearings regarding the draft for the pillar will continue until the end of this year, with the final version to be published in the beginning of 2017.  

Another topic for this meeting will be the priorities of the European Platform to tackle undeclared work.

Liisa Heinonen, Ministerial Counsellor, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel.  +358 295 064 131
Ville Korhonen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 253