28 Feb 2024

Free movement of workers: Use of workers from the EU

“Free movement of workers” is a legal term used by the European Union. This term refers to the right of EU workers to live and work in any other EU country. You are allowed to work in all EU countries without restrictions, regardless of your nationality.

The goal is to strengthen the common European labor market.

Legal basis for freedom of movement for workers

The legal basis for the free movement of workers can be found in the Articles 45-48 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The basis of this agreement is the principle of equality. This means that employees have the same working and social conditions as citizens of the country in which they work. This agreement prohibits any form of discrimination against workers based on their nationality.

How free movement of workers affects EU workers

The free movement of workers has a major influence onemployees from the EU. This legal concept enables professional mobility between EU member states. European workers have better opportunities to find work that matches their skills. There are no cross-border barriers.

The result of this is a balance in the labor market. And that promotes economic development. EU workers make an important contribution in regions with labor shortages. Free movement of workers thus promotes social integration and cultural exchange. And thus contributes to an integrated European community.

In addition, this legal concept means personal and professional development for EU workers. It enables EU citizens to take part in different working and cultural circles. And this has a direct impact on professional and personal development. Free movement of workers promotes fair and equitable treatment between Member States. By enabling equal legal and social protection for all workers in the EU. 

Does the freedom of movement for workers include an equal right of residence for the employee's family members?

As part of the legal concept of freedom of movement for workers in the European Union, the right of family members to reside in the member state is generally recognized. However, it only applies to spouses and children. The employee's parents do not automatically have a right of residence.

For example, if one of the spouses is a member of the EU. It doesn't matter whether he had the citizenship of an EU member from birth or acquired it over the course of his life. In this case, the other spouse, who is not an EU citizen, automatically receives the same rights. The same applies to the children of the EU citizen. In this way, freedom of movement for workers impacts the protection and preservation of the family unit. It is important to note that family reunification rights may vary from country to country within the EU.

Are there any restrictions on EU workers' freedom of movement?

The free movement of workers also requires restrictions in certain situations. But these restrictions must be reasonable and not discriminatory!

There may be restrictions on workers to protect public safety, public order and public health. Such restrictions apply to citizens with criminal convictions. Especially when it comes to protecting public safety. When a new member state joins the EU, there may be time restrictions for employees from the new member state.

Do you still have questions about the free movement of workers or are you looking for employees from Europe? We at Zeitarbeit International will be happy to advise you on all questions relating to temporary employment, personnel placement and recruiting employees from Europe.