A well-functioning Single Market needs to be based on fair working conditions ensuring a level playing field. Every EU worker has certain minimum rights relating to health and safety at work, equal opportunities for women and men, protection against discrimination, labour law. The EU Member States must make sure that their national laws protect these rights, in particular those laid down by EU law.
The transport sector often suffers from a negative image in terms of working conditions, which may discourage in particular young people and women to look for transport jobs. In a sector that has been largely liberalised and where the mobility of workers is high, social protection and labour law rules remain primarily a responsibility of the Member States. This can lead to a different implementation and different levels of enforcement across the Member States. This brings challenges in particular a lack of clarity on applicable social rules for some workers and a low level of enforcement and the risk of unfair employment practices.
The European Labour Authority will be a key tool to facilitate the application and enforcement of EU rules in this area, improving the functioning of the Single Market. It will provide to individuals and employers information on working or operating in another EU country, and support cooperation between national authorities, including on strengthening inspections, tackling undeclared work and fighting fraud.