Under a provisional deal between MEPs and European Union ministers, workers sent temporarily to another EU country would from now on get equal pay for equal work in the same place, under a provisional deal between MEPs and EU Ministers.

The new EU rules were informally agreed by the European Parliament and Council negotiators late on March 19. The rules aim to ensure better protection for posted workers and fair competition for companies.

Under the agreed text, all of the host country’s rules on remuneration, set by law or certain collective agreements, shall apply to posted workers. European Parliament negotiators ensured that large, representative regional or sectorial collective agreements could also be applied.

According to a European Parliament press release, travel, board and accommodation costs should be paid by the employer and not deducted from workers’ salaries. Employers will also have to ensure that the accommodation conditions for posted workers are decent, and in line with national rules.

The duration of the posting has been set at 12 months, with a possible extension of six months. After that time-limit, the worker will still be able to stay in the member state where he is posted, but all of the host country’s labour rules will start to apply.

Co-rapporteur Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (EPP, FR) said the agreement reflects the EU’s social, economic and political reality. “It gives a clear direction towards a more social Europe with a fairer competition between companies and better rights for workers. This agreement will provide better rights for workers and also ensure the necessary protection toward companies.”

In turn, Agnes Jongerius (S&D, NL), co-rapporteur, said: “Europe chooses equal pay for equal work at the same place. And that is a major accomplishment.  Colleagues can be colleagues again, and no longer competitors. When I arrived in the European Parliament, my main goal was the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. And this will happen now. This is an important step to create a social Europe that protects workers and makes sure there is fair competition”.