Three questions on the changes to the rules on posting of workers
On 16 June, the Parliament decided on changes to the rules on the posting of workers. The amendments in question concern, inter alia, the employers who post workers to Sweden, those posted and those who receive services provided by posted workers. The amended rules will enter into force on 30 July 2020. We answers three questions about the new rules.*
Why are the posting rules changing?
The changes to the rules for posted workers are being made in order to strengthen protection and improve conditions for posted workers in order to achieve greater equal treatment between posted and local workers. At the same time, the amended rules will facilitate the work of public authorities and labor unions to meet the rights of posted workers.
The background to the change in the rules is the revised posted workers directive (revised PWD) which Sweden as members of the EU are obliged to implement.
What do the changes mean for employers?
The amendments, which will enter into force on 30 July, include the following for employers posting workers to Sweden:
- Labor unions are given an increased right to ultimately induce foreign employers, through industrial action, to sign collective agreements on pay, certain cost reimbursements and other conditions as set out in the so-called extended hard core of the revised PWD.
- A posting lasting more than 12 months is considered a long-term posting. In the case of long-term secondment, the employer shall, with a few exceptions, apply all the conditions of employment applicable to local workers in a comparable situation. Thus, the deer to conditions in the hard core does not apply to prolonged posting.
- If the employer submits an application for extension, the posting may be extended to 18 months before it is considered long-term. For postings that have lasted for 12 months on 30 July (the date the new rules enter into force), an application for extension must be submitted by 30 July in order for the posting to be extended to 18 months.
- Where be aggregated and may constitute long-term posting. Employers shall inform posted workers who replace someone else in the same post and place of the total period of posting. This is so that the posted worker can utilize the right to extended conditions that arise during long-term postings.
- Employers must appoint a contact person in Sweden and notify a posting to the Swedish Work Environment Authority no later than the day the posting begins. This is a difference compared to the previous rules where postings that lasted no more than five days did not have to be notified by the employer.
- The employer must provide the recipient of the services of the posted worker with documentation that the above notification has been made. The recipient of the service must in turn notify the Swedish Work Environment Authority if such documentation is not provided.
- Penalties may be imposed on both posting and receiving companies if the rules on notification of postings are not complied with.
What do the changes mean for those posted in Sweden?
For those who are posted workers in Sweden, the changes mean, inter alia, that the pay that Swedish labor unions may require in collective agreements may be higher than a minimum wage and that workers may be entitled to compensation for travel, food and accommodation, as well as conditions of accommodation.
If a worker has been posted in Sweden for 12 or 18 months, the posted worker is also entitled to almost all terms and conditions of employment that apply to employees in Sweden. The same applies to workers who replace someone else if the total period of posting is 12 or 18 months.
*The information shall be considered neither advisory nor exhaustive. For advice in individual cases please contact us via the contact details below.