Immigration laws are contentious and complicated. What does it mean to be a citizen of one country and go to another to live and work? The EU has issued directives regarding Posted Workers in the past few years, which discusses the ability of an employer to send an individual working in one member state to another, to carry out their work. Whilst an employer of an Irish Citizen can potentially relocate their employee to Germany to live and work, under the legislation they are to be treated the same as a local worker, once “posted” in the host location – and all that would involve & implicate. Here’s everything you should know about Posted Workers and how it impacts those being sent on assignment to Germany.
What are posted workers?
By definition, a Posted Worker is “A person who, for a limited time, carries out his or her work in the territory of an EU member state other than the state in which he or she normally works.”
This definition covers both EU/EEA citizens as well as non-EU/EEA in any of the 27 EU member states plus Iceland and Switzerland. (In fact, most of the EU countries are now applying posted worker regulations to postings from outside the EU countries). It could therefore apply to the example in the introduction as an Irish citizen sent to Germany to work, or it could be a Mexican citizen living in Ireland, who was then sent to Germany to work. The “limited time” is often considered to be 12 months, but this 12-month period does have the ability to be extended for another six months. If the worker’s assignment is extended beyond this 18-month period, then they are no longer considered a posted worker.
The worker could be under a number of assignments while in the other member state including being an intra-company transfer, remaining at a client site or working at a temporary employment agency. Finally, perhaps the most interesting way that a posted worker is defined is through their location. While the definition states that it applies to an individual working outside of a state in which he or she normally works, it also extends to any individual who is non-EU/EEA, and does not apply to workers who choose to work under local contracts in other countries.
How does this impact those travelling to Germany on business matters?
Germany may be the most impacted member state of all. Right now, it receives the highest number of Posted Workers in the EU and comes in second for workers posted from Germany. This means that it’s incredibly important for anyone coming and going to Germany for business purposes, as well as German employers, to understand the proper definition of Posted Workers. This definition is vital to knowing how to submit the proper documentation when dealing with mobile employees.
Whether you are an employer in Germany or an employer based in another country or EU Member State, you will likely need to submit a Posted Worker Notification prior to the commencement of the posting. If established abroad, the employer must retain the documents, in the German language and available on the German territory, and surrender them to the authorities when required to do so. Monetary fines will arise for non-compliance.
How does this apply to me and my company?
In an increasingly complex business world today, traveling on the right Visa or immigration status is paramount. EU countries are following suit, similar to Germany and will also impose strict rules and regulations as well as monetary fines for violating immigration laws. Knowing in advance how to correctly abide by these laws is essential, making it easier on your workers and ensure compliance on their next trip. GT Global Tracker’s software solution extensively analyses accumulated data, enable you to better advise your globally mobile employees of potential infringements. Interested in learning more? Please click here.