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Labour Mobility and OSH Vulnerability of Posted Workers: The Cases of Austria and the Slovak Republic

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Part of the Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being book series (AHSW)

Abstract

In this chapter we focus on the occupational safety and health of temporary cross-border labour migrants posted to Austria and the Slovak Republic. Based on empirical interview data with public authorities, social partners and workers in both countries, we explain how cross-border temporary labour mobility exposes posted workers to OSH-related vulnerabilities through an analytical framework that combines the OSH literature on the impact of subcontracting and precarity with the literature on the OSH of migrant workers. Findings underscore the precarious situation of posted and temporary migrant workers throughout the subcontracting chain. We argue that the subcontracted and temporary nature of the work done by cross-border mobile workers exposes the neglect of EU OSH standards by employers and workers, often only discovered after workers are injured or become sick at work. The most exposed to risks are third-country nationals, either posted from other EU countries or on work permits. Therefore, in terms of policy design, there is a need for a better understanding and reflection on the dynamics of temporary cross-border employment.

Keywords

  • EU market
  • Labour mobility
  • Occupational safety
  • Posted work

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Danaj, S., Hollan, K., Scoppetta, A. (2020). Labour Mobility and OSH Vulnerability of Posted Workers: The Cases of Austria and the Slovak Republic. In: Bretones, F.D., Santos, A. (eds) Health, Safety and Well-being of Migrant Workers: New Hazards, New Workers. Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52632-0_8

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