On the 13th of July 2016 the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs voted on the final report relating to “social dumping” in Europe presented by Guillaume Balas. EurECCA welcomes the fact that the Committee voted in favour.

More than 800 amendments were tabled including one crucial amendment proposed by the Transport Committee. This amendment will have important consequences for the future of European Cabin Crew:

In this amendment the Transport Commission (TRAN) “calls for an improved Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 to ensure binding application of national labour legislation for airlines which have operational bases in the EU and to improve the definition and concept of the term ‘principal place of business’, and also, in the context of the coordination of social security systems and labour law, for alignment of the definition of ‘Home Base’ for crew members as per Regulation (EU) No 83/2014 and Regulation (EU) No 465/2012; ”

From the very beginning EurECCA has been a strong supporter of this amendment. We alerted a significant number of MEP’s to raise awareness about the disastrous consequences with regard to further social dumping if this amendment was rejected.

Why it is so important?
This amendment aims to clearly rule that the “Home Base” is not linked to the registration of the aircraft.

Presently, there are 2 new European regulations concerning mobile workers and especially crew members. These regulations specify that Cabin Crew’s « Home Base » determines the applicable law. These 2 regulations are not retroactive and are only applicable to employment contracts signed as from 2010 (593/2008 / EC) for labour law and as from 2012 (465/2012 / EC) in relation to the payment of social security fees.

From now on the assignment of an “Home Base” shall determine the jurisdiction applicable.

In an earlier publication EurECCA pointed out the fact that the Court of Appeal of Mons (Belgium) has decided to ask a prejudicial question to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in March 2016 concerning the definition of Home Base. The question is whether the “Home Base” should be the « habitual place of work » for a Cabin Crew. The answer hasn’t been published yet.

For EurECCA there can only be one outcome in the court case presented to the Court of Mons and the ECJ. Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community, states very clearly that:
“with respect to employees of a Community air carrier operating air services from an operational base outside the territory of the Member State where that Community air carrier has its principal place of business, Member States should ensure the proper application of Community and national social legislation”

The amendment on the final report on « social dumping in Europe » tabled by the TRAN calls for a revision of Regulation 1008/2008. The definition of “principal place of business” has to be strengthened in order to oblige operators to apply national law where Cabin Crew have their main activity (Home Base) and to remove any connection between “Home Base” and registration of the aircraft.

Aircraft registration must not have an impact on which legislation applies to the crew members.
“Operational base”,
where crew members have their habitual place of work, has to be considered the only possible reference