Secure Mobility: Uncovering Gaps in the Social Protection of Posted Workers



SMUG seeks to improve the evidence base for posting policy, by conducting a targeted policy-focused research project with clear dissemination channels into policy. The central objective is to map the pan-EU labour market from the perspective of the workers, showing how country of origin and other worker characteristics shape their opportunities and personal mobility decisions. We will reveal specific causes of inequality, and propose practical policies to remedy them.


The project aims to:

1. document the specific forms of precarity experienced by posted workers in the European Union, resulting from their movement between national systems;
2. map the structure of the posted worker labour market, by finding out the factors segmenting it into more and less precarious segments;
3. identify specific rules that might be changed, or practices enacted to better protect posted workers and reduce labour market segmentation; and
4. disseminate these findings and proposed solutions, through direct interactions with social actors, via a transnational workshop, conference, consortium team meetings and published policy documents.


The project focuses on the construction industry. It is a biographical interview-based research project, with an action research component of focus groups, and workshop to facilitate distribution. Specifically, we will:

(1) Collect interview data in the form of biographical worker narratives; a total of 48-60, or 8-12 per partner,
(2) analyse this data through desk research and consultations in focus group discussions with experts and stakeholders.

The project also relies also on policy-impact focused publishing as well as academic publishing to ensure distribution of its results.


6 policy briefs and a final report;

1 transnational workshop in Vienna and 1 final conference in Brussels with experts and stakeholders;

5 journal articles, and an edited book or journal special edition after project completion.

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

European Centre Logo
UN SDG Decent Work and Economic Growth
UN SDG Reduced Inequalities