Restricted rights: Obstacles in enforcing labour rights of EU mobile workers in the German and Dutch construction sector

Ines Wagner, Lisa Berntsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


There is considerable evidence that employers are violating the labour rights of EU mobile workers. However there is disagreement as to whether the enforcement problem is caused by poor EU-level or weak national-level possibilities for overseeing and sanctioning companies and enforcing regulation. This poses the questions as to which gaps in enforcement do exist in relation to EU labour mobility? And under which circumstances do these particular enforcement gaps come about? In order to arrive at an answer to these questions we examine the actor behaviour of institutions key to these processes; namely, through interviews with the respective labour enforcement agencies and trade unions in the German and Dutch construction sector as well as with EU mobile workers. We discuss three distinct difficulties to enforce labour standards respectively: 1) disparities between enforcement actors across EU member states, 2) enforcement challenges for actors involved within the national context, and 3) representation gaps between collective channels of representation in the host country and EU mobile labour.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransfer: European Review of Labour and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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