The free movement of workers in the EU has had “unintended consequences” which are “eating away at sectors” of the economy, announces Le Soir.
In 2011, the country played host to 337,189 “detached workers”, that is to say employees of foreign companies who have been sent to work in Belgium for a specific period, 120,000 more than in 2009. The daily explains that pending a new European directive on the rules for detachment, this practice often “amounts to social dumping” —
The Belgian state has been penalised in three ways. Firstly, the detached workers do not contribute to the Belgian social security system. Secondly, Belgian workers are being laid off because “imported” staff are taking work they would otherwise do. Thirdly, companies that respect the law are forced to compete with unscrupulous firms that abuse detachment […]