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European Economic, Employment and Social Policy

Social dumping at work: uses and abuses of the posted work framework in the EU

Lisa Berntsen, Tilburg University, the Netherlands and Nathan Lillie, University of Juväskylä, Finland

Publication date : 2015

Number of pages : 4

Author(s) :

Lisa Berntsen, Tilburg University, the Netherlands and Nathan Lillie, University of Juväskylä, Finland

This Policy Brief demonstrates how legal ambiguities in the EU’s regulatory framework on worker mobility between EU member states allow companies to circumvent social regulations in order to save on labour costs.

Taking concrete examples from Finland and the Netherlands, the authors show that firms can use three types of social dumping strategy: regulatory evasion (bluntly violating laws); regulatory arbitrage (exploiting differences between national systems); and regulatory conformance (bending, but without actually breaking, the rules of welfare and industrial relations systems).

The Policy Brief recommends minimising the legislative features that permit arbitrage by regulating posted work in such a way that the rules no longer lend themselves to the pursuit of cost-competitive objectives.

Collection: 2015/7
ETUI, Brussels, ISSN 2031-8782