The Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) has adopted new rules to protect social security for mobile workers.
The rules, which were approved by EMPL yesterday, protect fair access to social security for mobile workers who have to cross intra-EU borders, while distributing obligations fairly between Member States. Provisions are put in place to promote cooperation between Member States, ensuring information can be shared between them in order to guarantee employees’ access to social security and prevent fraud.
Employees who are sent to a different Member State in the course of their work for up to 18 months will be entitled to receive the relevant social security benefits from the country where their employer is based; the authority responsible for allocating social security for mobile workers must be informed before workers are sent abroad.
Citizens who have paid in the requisite unemployment insurance in their home Member State will be able to draw on that state’s unemployment benefit for up to six months after leaving. Periods of unemployment insurance will be aggregated: for example, if a worker pays two weeks of insurance in one Member State and then two weeks in a second Member State, that worker will be considered to have four weeks’ worth of unemployment insurance stored up. Social security for mobile workers who are employed in frontier areas or in cross-border industries will be provided by the Member State of the worker’s choice – either the country in which they are a resident, or the last country where they were active as a worker.
Guillaume Balas, the committee’s lead MEP, said: “Ensuring social rights for all Europeans is not a variable to be adjusted depending on the economic situation in different member states; it is, on the contrary, an indispensable condition for the defence of a Europe of progress. Social Europe cannot be achieved without real social protection for all, and this will require a tangible improvement in social rights and stronger rules to combat the abuse and fraud at the expense of European workers.”
The draft rules on social security for mobile workers will now go to the European Parliament, Council and Commission to be finalised.