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PR(09)80: The Authority delivers a reasoned opinion against Iceland concerning the posting of workers


The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided today to send a reasoned opinion to Iceland concerning the Act on the rights and obligations of foreign undertakings that post workers temporarily in Iceland and on their workers' terms and conditions of employment.

The Authority takes the view that the Act, which was adopted in 2007, imposes restrictions on foreign service providers which are not in compliance with free movement of services under the EEA Agreement and the Posting of Workers Directive No. 96/71. 

First, the Authority concludes that provisions in the Act, which require foreign service providers to send the Icelandic authorities a declaration eight working days prior to operating in Iceland, together with the duty imposed on the domestic recipients of that service to make sure that these formalities have been complied with, constitute a de facto prior authorisation requirement. Such a requirement is a disproportionate restriction of the freedom to provide services, as the objective of protecting workers may be reached by a less restrictive procedure.

Second, the Authority maintains that provisions in the Act, which aim respectively to guarantee posted workers a right to two days of leave in the event of illness for every month worked and a right to be insured against accidents at work, go beyond what the Posting of Workers Directive allows. These issues are not among those where the Directive permits the host State to impose its own requirements on posted workers. The Directive pre-supposes that in this respect the workers are protected by the legislation in their home State.

The purpose of the reasoned opinion is to give Iceland a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court. Iceland has been given two months to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Ingvar Sverrisson
Officer, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 32

Mr. Ólafur Einarsson
Senior Officer
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 73


Brussels, 25 November 2009

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