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Posting workers


Posted workers’ rights restored in a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union
On 12 February 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered a landmark preliminary ruling related to the posting of workers.

The case deals with Polish workers posted to Finland and concerns pay claims which relate to the minimum wage. The Finnish Electricians’ Union (Sähköalojen ammattiliitto) requested the CJEU for a preliminary ruling regarding a dispute with a Polish firm Elektrobudowa Spólka Akcyjna on compensation claims for posted Polish Electricians working on the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant project, for a long time Europe’s biggest construction site. The wage claims amount to 6.6 million €.
The CJEU was asked to interpret in particular the interplay between the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Posting of Workers Directive.

The CJEU ruled that the Charter of Fundamental Rights is valid in Finland also for Polish workers posted to Finland, although Poland is exempted from the Charter. Moreover, it ruled that pay claims for Polish workers posted to Finland can be pursued by Finnish trade unions, and that Finnish courts dealing with the pay claims in Finland do not have to take Polish employment law into account. The Polish workers posted to Finland must be paid according to Finnish pay scales and must comply with the Finnish pay regulations.

The ruling is a very positive step forward towards restoring rights for posted workers, which were lost in earlier judgments of the CJEU. It is also a step towards restoring the original meaning of the Posting of Workers Directive, which was given a very narrow interpretation in earlier judgments. In addition, the ruling lays down that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is also valid for workers from Poland and the UK – despite these countries being exempted from the Charter – when workers are posted to other Member States which are covered by the Charter.

An article from the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions, SAK, is available through the following link: click here

The actual preliminary ruling of the CJEU is available through the following link:
click here