Press Release

SIPTU welcomes ECJ ruling against temporary recruitment agencies

Date Released: 04 June 2021

SIPTU representatives have joined with European colleagues in welcoming a final ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), published yesterday (Thursday, 3rd June), which prohibits the use of temporary work agencies to recruit workers for employment in other EU Member States.

European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) general secretary, Tom Deleu, said: “The ECJ decision is an important victory for the workers, for the trade union movement and for the European values.”

The ruling overturns an earlier opinion of the ECJ advocate general that TEA Team Power Europe, a recruitment agency established in Bulgaria, had acted properly when it recruited workers to work in Germany but only provided them with terms and conditions applicable in the Eastern European state.

The ECJ backed the position of the EFBWW that such temporary recruitment agencies undermined European law by engaging in ‘forum shopping’  by establishing themselves in the Member States with social security legislation that is the most favourable to them.

EFBWW contended that “ultimately” such a process “might lead to a reduction in the level of protection offered by the Member States’ social security systems.”

The ECJ further noted that such a system would create “a distortion of competition” in favour of “temporary agency work as opposed to..directly recruiting their workers, who would be affiliated to the social security system of the Member State in which they work”.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “The final decision of the CJEU sends the right signal to workers and citizens at a moment when European legislators are trying to fix the many loopholes in the EU legislation regarding social security payments for posted workers.” 


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