Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 250

COVID-19: No free movement of critical workers without adequate protection

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 30 maggio 2020

MEPs debated how safe cross-border labour mobility should be ensured with Josip Aladrović, Croatian Minister of Labour and Pension Systems, Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and Jordi Curell Gotor, Interim Executive Director of the European Labour Authority.MEPs are deeply concerned by reports about the precarious working conditions and lack of safety measures for cross-border, frontier and seasonal workers. They provide a vital workforce on farms in Germany, France and other member states and ensure food security across Europe but their rights are often denied. Members gave examples of the problems that workers in slaughterhouses in the Netherlands and France, and health workers from Romania and Bulgaria who are brought to Austria, are facing.Although the vulnerable position of Europe’s 1.9 million posted workers and 1.5 million cross-border workers has been an issue for a long time, the COVID-19-crisis is highlighting these problems even further. MEPs underlined that according to EU law, mobile and posted workers have to be treated in the same way as domestic workers. They called on the member states to step up labour inspections, where relevant jointly with the European Labour Authority, and to fully implement EU legislation regulating different aspects of mobility, including free movement, posting of workers and social security coordination.Members of the Employment Committee also stressed that digitalizing procedures and applications could help to coordinate the different social security systems of national authorities to ensure social protection for all employees in the EU.The EP-negotiating team on the revision of EU legislation on the coordination of social security systems also called on all actors to urgently find a balanced solution as a top priority in the social area.Some speakers pointed to the responsibility that the agencies who recruit the mobile workers have and asked if more stringent measures are needed to better protect mobile workers in order to avoid them losing their houses together with their jobs. Real free movement is only possible if the workplace is safe, they said.

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