Posting of third country nationals

Mapping the trend in the construction sector



Con3Post explored the growing and under-researched trend of recruiting and posting of TCNs in the construction sector in order to produce new evidence-based knowledge, provide space for multi-stakeholder transnational cooperation and exchange of information within and beyond the EU, contribute to nourishing social dialogue at the sectoral level and promote fair and safe working conditions for workers.


The specific objectives were fully aligned with the EaSI-Progress strategic objectives and types of action stipulated in the Call as follows:

1) To establish and promote transnational cooperation between key stakeholders in EU-sending, EU-receiving and Third Countries through the lens of regional posting flows.

2) To produce new information and increase access to information through organisation of transnational events, publications, and by providing information to be uploaded on the existing websites and relevant online platforms.

3) To strengthen the evidence base by collecting and analysing primary data.

The project joined some of the leading scholars in the field of posting and EU labour market dynamics that closely collaborated with regional/national stakeholders to map and explore the main flows of recruitment and posting of TCNs and outline the current and future implications of this persistent trend in the construction sector.


Using the action research methodology and utilizing the methods of focus group and foresight, Con3Post collected relevant data to inform key stakeholders and policy-makers about the current and future trends and provide guidelines for strategic decision-making and planning on the sectoral, national/regional and EU level. The following four topics were systematically explored through the prism of the current and future EU labour market and mobility dynamics: 1) labour rights and representation 2) social welfare and occupational safety and health 3) managing transnational workplaces and depicting other future workforce-related challenges of the EU construction sector; 4) monitoring violations and disputes (including undeclared work) related to TCN.


  • Four project meetings
  • One informative project brochure
  • Nine transnational joint visits (with focus group and foresight discussions)
  • Three research seminars 
  • Three regional case studies 
  • Three regional policy briefs with multi-stakeholder recommendations
  • Final comparative study with recommendations for national and EU-level competent authorities
  • Final transnational conference


The findings indicated that immigration of TCN workers is driven largely by economic discrepancies and wage disparities between the third countries and EU countries, as well as political and economic instabilities in the third countries. We found that some companies have become quite active in the wider European markets providing services through posting of TCNs, which has in many cases become a business model for profit maximisation. We found that the intersection of the migration and employment regimes may enhance the vulnerabilities of posted TCN workers, who tend not to defy or report their employers, on whom they depend not only for employment but also for the renewal of their work and residence permits in the sending country. We found that despite the mechanisms for control and enforcement of national/EU standards, the vulnerability of TCN posted workers persists due to the cloaking effect of the posting employment characterised by subcontracting, cross-border mobility and temporary service provision.

The European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research supports the Sustainable Development Goals

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UN SDG Decent Work and Economic Growth
UN SDG Reduced Inequalities


EaSI Programme, DG Employment, European Commission


01/2019 – 12/2020