Social commission (SOC)

who's who

Regulation (EU) 2019/1149 of 20 June 2019 establishes the European Labour Authority (ELA):

The main aims of the ELA are: improving the access to information by individuals and employers about their rights and obligations in the areas of labour mobility and social security coordination; strengthening operational cooperation between authorities in the cross-border enforcement of relevant Union law, including facilitating joint inspections; providing mediation and facilitating solutions in cases of disputes between national authorities.

The Management Board and the Stakeholders’ Group– of which FIEC is a member – have been set up towards the end of 2019. Since then, several working groups have been set up: one on (improving) information from public authorities to companies and workers, one on joint inspections and another one on mediation.

Why FIEC is dealing with this topic

Mobility within the Internal Market is an issue of crucial importance for construction companies. It is also a source of fraudulent practices amongst others because of the difficulties in the controls and the lack of coordination between public authorities, which affects genuine companies and the possibility for them to act on a level playing field.

Also, in 2021, important stand-alone bodies which were dealing with mobility-related issues (i.e. the Committee of Experts on Posting of the European Commission and the EU Platform against Undeclared Work) in which FIEC was sitting, have been incorporated into the ELA. It is therefore of crucial importance that FIEC has secured its presence in this new Authority (i.e. in the Stakeholders’ Group).

Actions and key dates
Official launch of ELA
FIEC participates in 1st meeting of the Stakeholders’ Group
FIEC participates in 2nd meeting of the Stakeholders’ Group
FIEC participates in 3rd meeting of the Stakeholders’ Group (including joint meeting with the Management Board)
FIEC participates in 3rd meeting of the Stakeholders’ Group
Spring 2021
Committee of Experts on Posting and EU Platform against Undeclared Work are incorporated into the ELA
FIEC participates in 4th meeting of the Stakeholders’ Group


On 1st July 2020, the European Commission presented an update EU Skills Agenda, building on the 2016 Agenda – which, in the meantime, has been implemented.

This agenda sets new ambitious quantitative objectives for upskilling (improving existing skills) and reskilling (training in new skills) people over the next 5 years.

The presented agenda focuses in particular on 3 principles:

  • Upskilling and reskilling should support the green and digital transition and EU’s recovery from the COVID crisis in more general terms;
  • People should develop “skills for jobs”, that is, in the most possible pragmatic approach, including via vocational education and training;
  • Adults should have access to life-long learning.

First action amongst the 12 is the set up of several sectoral “Pact for Skills”, including in construction. It is aimed at bringing together stakeholders, including social partners, which share the objective of up- and reskilling the workforce to enable the green and digital transition. These stakeholders are expected to sign a Charter, which will define the key principles that are essential to fulfil this objective, within their organisations but also across their value chain.

Why FIEC is dealing with this topic

The problems of lack of skilled workforce, skills gaps and skills mismatches in the construction sector are crucial for FIEC.

This is even more the case now as the availability of skilled construction workers will be key to the success of the European Green Deal’s Renovation Wave, as well as to the overall digital transition of the construction industry.

FIEC is already involved in these topics in many ways, and namely through our social dialogue with EFBWW.

Moreover, FIEC is partner in the “Construction Blueprint for a Sectorial Skills Strategy” (Erasmus+ project) which will last until end 2022 and define the new skills needs in the fields of energy efficiency, circular economy and digitalisation.

Together with the EFBWW, FIEC is working on preparing the basis for a Pact for Skills in construction, based on our joint experience in this field and targeting a few possible qualitative objectives to which we can further commit.


Actions and key dates
European Commission presents the update EU Skills Agenda
Official launch of the Pact for Skills (with several sectors involved)
FIEC (VP Schons and VP Petrucco) participates in meeting with Commissioners Breton (Internal Market and Industry) and Schmit (Employment and Social affairs) on a Pact for Skills in construction
08/02/2021 and 04/06/2021
FIEC and EFBWW work on the preparation of a “Construction Charter” at their social dialogue meetings
November 2021
Expected official approval of the “Construction Charter” by FIEC and EFBWW (in cooperation with EBC)


As the EU Strategic Framework Health & Safety at Work (2014-2020) came to its end, the European Commission prepared and published an updated Strategic Framework for the period 2021-2027. This is considered as high priority.

With the renewal of the Strategic Framework, recommendations, as well as the revision of some legislative acts, the European Commission aims to:

  • better anticipate and manage changes in the workplace, particularly in connection with the digital and green transitions;
  • improve the prevention of workplace accidents and work-related illnesses;
  • prepare for a possible health crisis.

Why FIEC is dealing with this topic

Health and Safety at the workplace is an all-time priority for FIEC, who is also cooperating closely with the trade unions (EFBWW) on that matter. Indeed, even if the situation has improved over the past years, the construction industry remains sensitive to accidents and work-related diseases.

In its response to the Commission’s consultation, FIEC pointed out that the current legislative framework is sufficient, so that the focus should rather be put on the implementation of the existing rules, through the exchange of best practice, awareness raising campaigns, accompanying measures for companies and in particular SMEs, etc.FIEC is now preparing a reaction to the published updated Strategic Framework.


Actions and key dates
FIEC contribution to the European Commission’s public consultation on the renewal of the EU Strategic Framework on Occupational Safety & Health for the period 2021-2027
Publication of the new EU Strategic Framework
IEC and EFBWW social dialogue meeting. Preparation of a joint statement in reaction to the new strategy


The Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) concerns machinery and certain parts of machinery. Its main intent is to ensure a common safety level in machinery placed on the market or put in service in all EU Member States and to ensure freedom of movement within the EU.

On 21st April 2021, the European Commission proposed to revise this Directive and turn it into a Regulation. The main aims of this revision are to align the new legislative act with EU harmonised legislation on product health and safety; tackle the challenges that may arise from technical progress in digitalisation; and solve divergences in interpretations.

Why FIEC is dealing with this topic

The well-functioning of the Internal Market for the free movement of products, as well as health and safety aspects on construction work sites are two major issues dealt with by FIEC.

The proposed modifications of the legislation might have important impact in terms of responsibility of contractors (versus manufacturers) in case of necessary adaptation of the machines or accidents, for instance.

In general, better cooperation from the manufacturers would be needed regarding the user’s manuals, advanced information on the machines, ownership on/ treatment of the generated data, etc.

In parallel, FIEC is participating in the Machinery Expert Group of the European Commission and provides input and feedback.

Actions and key dates
FIEC contribution to the European Commission public consultation on the revision of the Directive 2006/42/EC on machinery
1st meeting of the FIEC Working Group “Machinery” (jointly with TEC-1 “Directive, standards and quality assurance” and SOC-2 “Health & Safety”)
March 2020
FIEC contribution in drafting of Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
Publication of FIEC position paper
Publication of 2nd FIEC position paper
Publication of European Commission proposal for a new “Machinery Regulation”
FIEC contribution to the European Commission public consultation on the proposed new Regulation


The “Posting” Directive defines the rules that apply when a company provides services, for a limited period, in a country other than the one where it usually operates. As the provision of services is temporary, some of the rules that apply are the ones of the “host” country (minimum wage, working time, health and safety…), whilst others (for example “Social security”) remain the ones of the “home” country.

Latest revision to date, Directive (EU) 2018/957 of 28 June 2018 amended the original Directive from 1996 on the “posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services”, with the aim to address the problem of unfair practices and to promote the principle that the same work at the same place should be remunerated in the same manner.

Member States must apply the new rules since 30 July 2020.

In parallel to this, the European Commission is also following the implementation of the “Enforcement Directive” (2014/67/EU) by the Member States. Adopted in 2014, this Directive aims at strengthening the practical application of the Posting Directive by addressing the inspections and monitoring or the exchange of information between Member States, for instance. To date, most Member States have received “letters of formal notice” because of non-compliance of their national legislation with this Directive.

Why FIEC is dealing with this topic

Approximately half of the postings within the Internal Market are in construction activities and therefore these new rules can have a significant impact for construction companies.

FIEC is following the implementation phase and keeps a close look at the newly introduced provisions such as, for example: the reference to “remuneration” instead of “minimum wage”; a limitation in time (max 12 months, plus 6 possible additional months) beyond which the terms and conditions of employment that are mandatorily applicable to workers will be the ones of the Member State where the work is carried out; a clarification of the rules applicable to the reimbursement by the employer of the expenditures incurred on account of the posting, such as on travel, board and lodging.

Actions and key dates
Adoption of the new “Posting” Directive 2018/957/EC
Deadline for implementation by the Member States


Good occupational safety and health, including protection of workers from exposure to carcinogens, is top priority for the European Commission.

The European Commission considers that improved protection of workers exposed to asbestos will be important in the context of the green transition, which is at the heart of this Commission’s agenda, and of recovery from the effects of COVID-19. Indeed, exposure limit values on asbestos play an important role in the renovation of buildings.

The current binding occupational exposure limit value (OEL) for asbestos is 0.1 fibres/cm³ as an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA). The European Commission considers that the existing OEL should be amended in order to take account of the most recent knowledge, scientific development and technical progress.

In parallel, the European Parliament is also working on this issue, with a legislative own-initiative report by MEP Nikolaj Villumsen (Left-DK). The Rapporteur also advocates for a drastic lowering of the OEL for asbestos.

Why FIEC is dealing with this topic

Asbestos is a key occupational carcinogenic agent which has been used worldwide for decades in building. Although this substance is no longer in general use in the EU, there is a substantial legacy problem due to its presence in many older buildings that are likely to be renovated, adapted or demolished over the coming years.

These works present a potential risk that workers will be exposed to asbestos, and it is important that it is carried out in a controlled way by suitably trained workers and under the proper supervision their employers.

This is currently an important topic, not only under Union action on prevention and the protection of workers but also due to the EU-wide need to improve the thermal insulation of the built environment and enable energy savings, in line with the EU Green Deals’ Renovation Wave initiative.

However, most EU Member States have already implemented strict limit values and measures in this field and FIEC is worried that a further lowering of the OEL at EU level will become unrealistic for construction companies to comply with.

Actions and key dates
FIEC contribution to the European Commission’s social partners’ consultation (1st phase) on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to asbestos at work
Interview with external consultants in charge of impact assessment study on behalf of the European Commission
Meeting with MEP Villumsen on his legislative own-initiative draft report
FIEC contribution to the European Commission’s social partners’ consultation (2nd phase)
Adoption of Villumsen report in the EMPL Committee
Expected revision proposal by the European Commission


In December 2016 the European Commission presented a proposal for a revision of the existing Regulations on Social Security coordination (883/2004 and 987/2009).

Achieving a modernised system of social security coordination that responds to the social and economic reality in the Member States is one of the central drivers for this initiative.

This initiative is complementary to the revision of the “Posting” Directive which led to the adoption of the new “Posting” Directive (Directive 2018/957 of 28 June 2018).

As the revision of the Social Security Regulations is not making much progress, the European Commission and the European Parliament both launched alternative initiatives.The European Commission has launched a pilot-project on a social security pass, involving around 10 Member States and which should last until 2023.

The European Parliament is about to adopt a Resolution on the introduction of a European social security number with a personal labour card.

Why FIEC is dealing with this topic

Mobility within the Internal Market is an issue of crucial importance for construction companies.

The proposal of the Commission focuses on different areas of coordination where improvements are required (economically inactive citizens' access to social benefits, long-term care benefits, unemployment benefits and family benefits), but FIEC mainly addressed those provisions that have a link with the issue of posting such as the need : to strengthen the cooperation and the exchange of information between national administrations; to reinforce the reliability of the A1 forms; to strengthen the provisions regarding the pursuit of activities in two or more Member States; to align some of the proposed changes with those concerning “Posting”, because companies, workers, labour inspectorates and public authorities need a clear and coherent legal framework, in order to be able to comply with it and to enforce it.

Actions and key dates
Initial proposal of the European Commission
FIEC position paper
Autumn 2019 to Autumn 2020
Trilogue negotiations => blocking issues (i.e. derogation clause to prior notification)
FIEC press releaseCoordination of Social Security systems: FIEC says no to exemptions to prior notification for the construction industry
FIEC-EFBWW joint statement « EU construction social partners call for digital enforcement » in reaction to the European Parliament’s draft Resolution on the introduction of a European social security number with a personal labour card
Autumn 2021
Trilogue negotiations are still stalling