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Written Statement Directive survey: Have your say on EU law regarding information on work conditions

27 January 2016


Written Statement Directive survey: Have your say on EU law regarding information on work conditions

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The Commission is carrying out an evaluation of Directive 91/533/EEC on an employer's obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship - the so-called "Written Statement Directive".

This evaluation will assess the benefits brought by the Directive and reflect on what could be improved. In this context, the Commission would like to collect views of stakeholders on some key questions.

The present public consultation is open from 26 January 2016 until 20 April 2016.

We invite all interested parties and citizens to take an active part in this evaluation and contribute to this consultation through the online questionnaire. It will only take a few minutes of your time!


Directive 91/533/EEC (known as 'The Written Statement Directive') was adopted on 14 October 1991. In essence, it gives employees the right to be notified in writing of the essential aspects of their employment relationship when it starts or shortly after. It also mentions that additional information must be provided to expatriate employees before departure.

Some Member States impose the conclusion of a detailed written employment contract, others do not. Whatever be the national situation in this regard, the Directive ensures that each employee receives in writing (in an employment contract or in another written document) information about his/her essential work conditions such as the description of the work, its duration if it is temporary, the amount of paid leave and the working time.

The Directive has a social goal: improve the protection of employees by providing them sufficient information on their rights. By requiring written elements about employment relationships, it fosters greater transparency on the labour market. Hence it contributes to legal certainty for both employees and employers, as well as helping to reduce undeclared work.

This Directive is currently under evaluation. Under the recently adopted Better Regulation Guidelines, an evaluation is defined as an evidence-based judgement of the extent to which an EU intervention has been (i) effective and efficient (ii) relevant given the needs and its objectives (iii) coherent both internally and with other EU policy interventions and (iv) achieved EU added-value.

This evaluation takes place in the context of the European Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT). The general aim of REFIT is to make EU law simpler, fit for purpose and to reduce regulatory costs, thus contributing to a clear, stable and predictable regulatory framework supporting growth and jobs.

The evaluation is furthermore justified by the fundamental changes that have occurred on the labour market where the variety of employment relationships has increased. On top of open-ended work and well-known forms of atypical work such as fixed-term work and part-time work, new forms of employment have appeared or developed. These new forms of employment may present a challenge for the application of the Directive and this deserves to be further considered in the context if this evaluation.