08 / 11 / 2019

EARTO Paper on A1 Certificates and the Posting of Workers in EU Regulation

EARTO voices its concerns regarding the Regulations on the Coordination of Social Security (Reg. (EC) 883/2004, Reg. (EC) 987/2009) and the Directives on the posting of workers (96/71/EC, 2014/67/EU, 2018/957/EU). We call on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to ensure that applications for A1 certificates for business trips should be necessary only when the business trip is longer than two weeks, uniformly throughout the EU. Secondly, we call on the EU institutions to ensure that researchers and science-associated staff are exempted from the general posting of workers regulations, uniformly throughout the EU.   While we appreciate the European Commission’s efforts in reforming the legal framework on the posting of workers in order to ensure the fair exercise of the freedom to provide services and to enhance workers’ protection throughout the European Union, EARTO members expressed great concerns on the implementation of these new EU legislative acts. Generally, Research & Technology Organisations (RTOs) in Europe receive public funding and hence must ensure that the specific legal requirements for employment conditions are met and reported. The legal framework for the posting of workers within the EU was mainly created in order to protect workers in economic/private sectors while the employees of RTOs are mainly researchers and science-associated staff. The latter cannot be equated with “workers” in general. The general labour market for workers differs greatly from the labour market for employees in Higher Education, Research and Technology working for organisations with non-profit public missions. This can clearly be demonstrated, among others, by the creation in 2005 of a European Charter for Researchers which deals with the specific framework conditions for researchers in the EU. It is therefore essential that researchers and science-associated staffs are exempted from the general posting of workers regulations.   We would like to emphasize two key issues:  
  • Applications for A1 certificates for business trips should only be necessary when the business trip is longer than two weeks, uniformly throughout Europe. A corresponding clarification should be included in Regulation 987/2009. This would exclude normal business trips from the scheme, significantly reduce bureaucratic hurdles while focusing on the issue of posting targeted by the regulation.
  • The requirements of the different legislative acts unfortunately differ significantly when it comes to labour law on one side and social security law on the other. This inevitably results in huge efforts trying to reconcile those and bring uncertainty to our members as employers. In this context, a uniform standard exemption for EU researcher mobility should be created across the various legislations. Therefore, we need a general exemption for researchers and science-associated staff to be implemented uniformly throughout the EU, crossing over the administrative (social security/A1-form) and labour law obligations (notification requirements) and to be introduced for short assignments abroad of up to two-week-long.
  We call upon the EU Institutions to support the future of mobility of researchers in Europe avoiding creating further mobility’s barriers. We hope that our proposed solutions will be picked up in the negotiations on the revision of Regulation No. 883/2004 as well as in the evaluation processes regarding the Directives on the posting of workers.   EARTO remains at your disposal for any further inputs you may require on those issues.   Read the full EARTO A1 Certificates and the Posting of Workers in EU Regulation