Assessing the number of posted workers across the EU member states remains particularly challenging and only estimates are currently available at European level. Delimiting the phenomenon is the first issue, as posted workers are defined differently depending on regulations.
Two different application/declaration processes can potentially provide information on posting situations, but each has different objectives and covers different issues. The Portable Document A1 (PD A1) certifies affiliation to the social security system of the sending Member State. Member States may impose an obligation for a foreign service provider to make a declaration to the competent institutions in the host Member State, mainly considering employment aspects.
Cross-border exchange of information is also tackled very differently, given the important margin of discretion granted to Member States in the design of the system of declaring posted workers and issuing of the PD A1 form.
Improving data sources to allow for the monitoring of posting is needed to ensure that businesses are competing fairly across Europe and that the labour and social rights of posted workers are recognised. A comprehensive monitoring tool would also be useful to help Member States ensure that they get their dues in social security contributions and taxes, as well as to combat abuse.
The debate about the posting of workers in the EU, its economic and social consequences, and ways to manage it is hampered by the fact that reliable, comparable data on the phenomenon are lacking. Accurate statistics on the number of posted workers, their characteristics and working conditions are simply not available. This report maps existing information sources at the European and Member State levels, and identifies the gaps in, and the limitations of, data currently available. The report outlines what kind of data would need to be collected to allow for a better monitoring of the situation of posted workers across Europe, as well as how this information could be collected and what kind of analysis would be possible based on these improved data sources.