Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund

What is posting?

Posted workers are employees sent by their employer to another EU country to do their work there on a temporary basis. During their posting abroad, they remain employees of their employer and generally still have social security cover in their country of origin. Most posted workers (42%) work, according to the European Parliament, in the construction industry, while 22% are in the manufacturing industry, 14% in education, health and social work and 10% in the field of business services.

The legal framework is the freedom to provide services. According to this, European enterprises can offer their services in other EU Member States and send employees over there to do so. In order to prevent discrimination, the EU adopted its Posting of Workers Directive in 1996, to ensure that posted workers are subject to the minimum employment legislation of the country in which they work:

·       minimum rates of pay

·       maximum working hours 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 of men and women

The German Posted Workers Act, which transposed the EU Directive into national law, stipulates that, in some sectors, the respective collectively agreed wage rates should be paid. In practice, however, posted workers are often paid less than regular employees. In Germany, according to an estimate by the European Commission, they receive up to 50% less pay. The revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, adopted in May 2018, includes changes. This revision will come into force in 2020. Until then, EU members are called on to transpose the reform into national law.

Posted workers only work for a certain time in Germany; they often do not speak sufficient German and have few local contacts. They are particularly vulnerable to exploitation due to the form of posting. In practice, employers often cheat these workers out of their wages; they don't give them their full holiday entitlement and often fire them at short notice – without, therefore, respecting the right of termination. Employers often do not register their employees for social insurance: the A1 certificates required for this are forged. Posted employees here in Germany can receive help at advisory centres run by trade unions, such as at Fair Mobility, or in their respective countries of origin in the information centres of Fair Working Conditions.


IQ Consult gGmbH
Michaela Dälken
Franz-Rennefeld-Weg 5, 40472 Düsseldorf
Telephone +49 (0)211-4301 197


Projekt DGB – Faire Mobilität
Dominique John
Paula-Thiede-Ufer 10, 10179 Berlin
Telefon: +49 (0)30 21 96 53 715



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