GMB is urging Theresa May to implement at the earliest opportunity important changes to a European Union directive that will make it harder for unscrupulous employers to exploit workers.
Following the landmark vote in the European Parliament today to strengthen protections on posted workers, the union is calling on the government not to drag its feet in implementing the change to the rights of posted workers.
The changes are intended to prevent undercutting employers paying EU workers posted in the UK less than those doing the same job in the same workplace.
Member states could have up to two years to implement this change which, like other EU laws, would still apply to the UK during the government’s Brexit transition phase set to run until December 2020.
However GMB urges the government to lead the way by implementing it as soon as possible this year and give workers in the UK the benefit of this protection.
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said: “Theresa May cannot be allowed to drag her feet on measures that will stop unscrupulous employers using migrant labour to undercut agreed wage rates.
“GMB has long argued that it is fundamentally wrong for workers doing the same job, in the same workplace, to be paid different rates.
“In construction we’ve seen examples of EU workers paid up to £5 an hour less than local workers.
“The vote today addresses a big issue for many GMB members during the EU referendum and while we would like it go further it should now be welcomed and implemented as soon as possible by the UK government. If it had been brought in when unions called for it years ago, we might not be facing the prospect of Brexit now.
“Any delay in introducing this, would be a monumental betrayal of UK workers and be proof the government is not interested in protecting rights at work through the Brexit process.”