7 January 2015
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Alfred Sant (S&D)
Subject: Commission employees with salaries that fall below the country’s established minimum social wage
Bearing in mind the Commission’s general goal to create minimum EU-level labour rights and that the minimum terms and conditions of employment established in the different Member States must also apply when the principle of free movement of workers is being applied (as specified in the Posting of Workers Directive), and given that the Luxembourgish authorities have attempted to stop the Commission from employing staff with salaries that fall below the country’s established minimum social wage:
1. What is the Commission’s rationale behind supporting a salary structure in which Commission staff employed as contractual agents and assistants in Luxembourg are earning less than the established minimum social wage in that same country?
2. Following numerous resignations and transfers from Luxembourg to jobs in other countries, how does such a salary policy correlate with the Commission’s goal of recruiting ambitious and skilled people?
3. In the aftermath of the strikes by contractual agents, will the Commission call for an in-depth policy change which goes beyond the recent proposals?
24 March 2015
Answer given by Vice-President Georgieva on behalf of the Commission
The Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Union have general application, are binding in their entirety and directly applicable in all Member States, by virtue of Article 288(2) of the TFEU. These provisions, adopted by means of a regulation by the European Parliament and the Council, determine inter alia the pecuniary rights of EU staff.
The remuneration structure of EU staff largely differs from workers employed under national law. Having regard to the various applicable tax regimes, social security and family allowance systems, direct comparisons should be considered with caution. Nevertheless, the Commission is willing to prevent the risk that the remuneration package of some of its staff in Luxembourg, in a very limited number of cases, might fall under the social minimum provided for under Luxembourgish law in a similar professional and family situation.
Several discussions have already taken place between the administration and staff representatives. The Commission is currently examining the scarce possibilities offered by the existing legal regime to adopt targeted and tailored social measures. Further meetings are due to take place in the coming months to explore all technical details.