Posted workers

What is posting?


A “posted worker” is an employee who is sent by his employer to carry out a service in another EU Member State on a temporary basis, in the context of a contract of services, an intra-group posting or a hiring out through a temporary agency.

For example, a service provider may win a contract in another country and send his employees there to carry out the contract.

Posted workers are different from EU mobile workers in that they remain in the host Member State only temporarily and do not integrate its labour market.

On the contrary, EU mobile citizens who go to another Member State to seek work and are employed there, are entitled to equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax conditions.

Rights and rules for posted workers

The EU law defines a set of mandatory rules regarding the terms and conditions of employment to be applied to posted workers

  • to guarantee that these rights and working conditions are protected throughout the EU
  • to ensure a level-playing field and avoid “social dumping” where foreign service providers can undercut local service providers because their labour standards are lower.
  • These rules establish that, even though workers posted to another Member State are still employed by the sending company and subject to the law of that Member State, they are entitled to a set of core rights in force in the host Member State.

    This set of rights consists of: minimum rates of pay; maximum work periods and minimum rest periods; minimum paid annual leave; the conditions of hiring out workers through temporary work agencies; health, safety and hygiene at work; equal treatment between men and women.

    However, the Directive does not apply whenever the working conditions applicable to the worker in accordance with the rules of the sending Member State are more favourable thand would result from the application of the Directive.

    The EU law thus provides a clear framework to guarantee fair competition and respect for the posted workers’ rights so that both businesses and workers can take full advantage of the internal market opportunities.

Posting of Workers and Enforcement Directive

The abovementioned rules are set out in the Posting of Workers Directive which was adopted in 1996. In 2014 the Enforcement Directive was adopted with the aim to strengthen the practical application by addressing issues related to

  • fraud,
  • circumvention of rules,
  • inspections and monitoring
  • joint liability in subcontracting chains
  • exchange of information between the Member States.

More information about national legalization

National figures on posting of workers

These country fiches contain key data on the employment numbers, trends and sectors in each EU Member State.

Member States’ single national websites on posting

Want to know about concrete terms and conditions of employment applicable to posted workers as well as employers obligations in the receiving Member State? Then take a look at Member States’ special websites on posting.

Single national websites on posting

Member States’ national liaison offices and competent auhtorities

Want to know more about posting conditions? Contact national liaison offices:

National liaison offices and authorities

Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive

On the 8 of March 2016, the European Commission proposed a revision of the rules on posting of workers within the EU to ensure they remain fit for purpose. The Commission proposal was adopted on 28 June 2018.

The main changes introduced by the revised Directive are as follows:

  • application to posted workers of all the mandatory elements of remuneration (instead of the “minimum rates of pay”);
  • application to posted workers of the rules of the receiving Member State on workers’ accommodation and allowances or reimbursement of expenses during the posting assignment;
  • for long-term postings (longer than 12 or 18 months), application of an extended set of terms and conditions of employment of the receiving Member State;

The Directive must be transposed into national laws by 30 July 2020 and cannot be applied before that date.

For the road transport sector, the rules of the revised Directive apply only from the date of application of the sector-specific rules proposed by the Commission (the so-called “lex specialis”) and under discussion between the European Parliament and the Council. Until that date, the rules of the 1996 Posting of Workers Directive remain applicable to the sector.

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Legal background
  • Directive 2018/957/EU amending Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services
  • Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services – COM(2016)128
  • Commission Staff Document: Impact Assessement concerning the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive – SWD(2016)52 Impact Assessment / SWD(2016)53 Impact Assessment Executive Summary
  • Directive on the enforcement of Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System (‘the IMI Regulation’) – The Enforcement Directive 2014/67/EU
  • Commission Staff Document: Impact Assessment, Revision of the legislative framework concerning the posting of workers in the context of the provision of services – SWD(2012) 63 – Part I / SWD(2012) 63 Part II / SWD(2012) 64 Executive Summary  

Working in another EU country



As an EU national you are entitled to take up work or look for a job in another EU country. 17 million of EU citizens are currently living or working abroad. The EU promotes fair employment conditions for people working abroad, as part of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

This section provides information on the rights of workers moving within the EU and the other rights linked to it, as well as on the restrictions that apply to workers from the countries that joined the EU more recently.

A short overview of the rights of nationals from countries outside the EU regarding work in an EU country is also available.

You will also find details on the conditions applying if you are temporarily sent by your employer to carry out your work in another Member State as a posted worker.

The EURES network, with its more than 1000 EURES staff and the EURES web portal with job vacancies and practical advice, are available to help you find a job and to prepare your move abroad.

The European Labour Authority (ELA) ensures that EU rules on labour mobility and social security coordination are enforced in a fair and effective way.

Related information

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EU social security coordination



The EU provides common rules to protect your social security rights when moving within Europe (EU 27 + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The rules on social security coordination do not replace national systems with a single European one. All countries are free to decide who is to be insured under their legislation, which benefits are granted and under what conditions.

Who do these rules apply to?

The four main principles

  1. You are covered by the legislation of one country at a time so you only pay contributions in one country. The decision on which country’s legislation applies to you will be made by the social security institutions. You cannot choose.
    Find out which rules apply to you
  2. You have the same rights and obligations as the nationals of the country where you are covered. This is known as the principle of equal treatment or non-discrimination.
  3. When you claim a benefit, your previous periods of insurance, work or residence in other countries are taken into account if necessary.
  4. If you are entitled to a cash benefit from one country, you may generally receive it even if you are living in a different country. This is known as the principle of exportability.


More information

More information

More information

As from 1 May 2010, new Regulations on modernised coordination (Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2009) apply. Check our frequently asked questions for further information.  Find out about social security rules in the country of your interest.

On 13 December 2016, the Commission proposed a revision of the EU legislation on social security coordination. The proposal is currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

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