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Obligation to inform employees of applicable working conditions

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Obligation to inform employees of applicable working conditions

This Directive requires employers to inform employees of the conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship. It stipulates the fundamental points to be communicated respectively in the case of domestic workers and expatriate workers. It also specifies the authorised means of information and the periods within which information must be provided.

ACT

Council Directive 91/533/EEC of 14 October 1991 on an employer’s obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship.

SUMMARY

The Directive applies to all paid employees with a contract or employment relationship defined and/or governed by the law in force in a Member State. Member States may exclude from its scope workers who have a contract or employment relationship:

  • with a total duration not exceeding one month or with a working week not exceeding eight hours; or
  • of a casual and/or specific nature where there are objective considerations justifying non-application of the Directive.

Obligation to provide information

Employers must provide employees with the following fundamental information:

  • identity of the parties;
  • place of work;
  • title, grade, nature or category of work or brief job specification;
  • date of commencement of contract or employment relationship;
  • in the case of a temporary contract or employment relationship, its expected duration;
  • amount of paid leave or procedures for allocating and determining such leave;
  • periods of notice to be observed by the employer and the employee should their contract or employment relationship be terminated or, where this cannot be indicated, method for determining such periods of notice;
  • basic amount, and other components of remuneration and frequency of payment;
  • employee’s normal working hours;
  • any relevant collective agreements.

Means of information

The information may be set out in a written contract of employment, in a letter of engagement or in one or more other written documents. These must be given to the employee within two months of commencement of employment, failing which the employee must be given a written declaration signed by the employer.

Expatriate employees

Employees required to work in another country must be in possession before departure of one of the documents referred to in point 3, which must include the following additional information:

  • duration of employment abroad;
  • currency to be used for payment of remuneration;
  • any benefits attendant on the employment abroad;
  • where appropriate, the conditions governing the employee’s repatriation.

These provisions do not apply where the duration of employment abroad is one month or less.

Any change to the terms of the contract or employment relationship must be recorded in writing.

The Directive does not affect the Member States’ prerogative to apply or introduce provisions which are more favourable to employees.

Background

The aim of the Directive is to protect employees against possible infringements of their rights, in view of the increase in the number of types of employment relationship, by establishing at Community level the obligation for employers to inform employees in writing of their conditions of employment.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force - Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 91/533/EEC

28.10.1991

30.6.1993

OJ L 288 of 18.10.1991

RELATED ACTS

2014/51/EU: Council Decision of 28 January 2014 authorising Member States to ratify, in the interests of the European Union, the Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers, 2011, of the International Labour Organisation (Convention No 189).

Last updated: 06.06.2014

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