EU employment law

EU laws on fixed-term, part-time and posted workers


Specific employment rules apply to forms of employment that differ from full-time permanent contracts.

Fixed-term employees

A fixed-term contract is for employees who are only contracted to work for you for a fixed period of time - for example, one year.

Terms and conditions for fixed-term employee contracts are set out in a framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by the Employers' Confederations of Europe, the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and the European Trade Union Confederation.

Part-time workers

Under European Union (EU) part-time worker legislation, you must not treat part-time workers less favourably than full-time workers.

In addition, you cannot dismiss a worker because they refuse to transfer from full-time to part-time work or vice versa.

Posted workers

Under the European Union's posted worker legislation, a 'posted worker' is defined as someone who is sent by their employer to work on a temporary basis in a different EU country from the one where they normally work.

If you send a worker to work for you in another member state, you must make sure that their terms and conditions of employment and pay comply with the legislation of the member state they are now working in.

The law in individual member states

Each member state has implemented the various directives into its own legislation, so there may be local variations. Therefore, you should check the specific situation in the member state concerned.

You can get advice on the specific laws in any EU country using the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). This is a network of business advice partner organisations across the EU. Find your nearest partner organisation.

Important: The UK has left the EU and there is now a transition period until the end of 2020. This information is still current but could change. Any changes will be documented here. For more information, see Brexit support for employers.

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