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POSTING OF WORKERS TO ANOTHER EU MEMBER STATES

After the accession of Croatia to the European Union, Croatian businessmen and workers have a right to fundamental freedoms of the EU single market, i.e. fundamental freedoms to provide services and free movement of persons on the entire territory of the EU. In practice there is often question raised how to post a worker to carry out a certain work abroad for his employer. Question of posting of workers is governed by the Labour Act and the provisions of the EU.

An employer can post his worker to carry out his work abroad on grounds of a contract on business cooperation with a foreign business partner. For instance, on grounds of a contract on conducting construction works abroad with foreign company, Croatian employees are being posted to carry out work on a construction site abroad. All the mutual rights and obligations as well as specified services should be determined in the contract on business cooperation.

The employment contract with a posted worker should, beside regular contract provisions, also include special provisions according to the Labour Act. It is essential that an employer closes separate employment contract with each employee before departure to a foreign country.

Hence, posting of workers abroad does not understand a work for a foreign employer, but the employee carries out a work assigned to him by his Croatian employer. Wage and other wage costs are covered by the Croatian employer in this case.

The posting of workers to another member state is governed by the Posting of Workers Directive (Directive 96/71/EC), which determines which legislation is applied to a posted worker-  whether the law of the Member State within whose territory the worker is posted or the law of the country of employment.

One should bear in mind that the law of state within whose territory the worker is posted is applied to following issues:

1. maximum work periods and minimum rest periods;

2. minimum paid annual holidays;

3. the minimum rates of pay, including overtime rates; this point does not apply to supplementary occupational retirement pension schemes;

4.  the conditions of hiring-out of workers, in particular the supply of workers by temporary employment undertakings;

5.  health, safety and hygiene at work;

6. protective measures with regard to the terms and conditions of employment of pregnant women or women who have recently given birth, of children and of young people;

7. equality of treatment between men and women and other provisions on non-discrimination.

In case where a worker is temporarily posted to carry out a work abroad, it is possible to ask that the Croatian social security system is applied to the posted worker, but only for a period of not more than 24 months (exceptionally up to 5 years). Such application is to be filed with the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute. The employer has to prove that he carries out his activities regularly on the Croatian territory and that there is direct connection between employer and employee for the whole period of posting.

Before posting a worker, he also needs to obtain the European health insurance card (EHIC) from the Croatian Health Care Institute. On the occasion of issuance of the EHIC, no contribution for health care abroad is paid.