§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what guidelines she gives under the 451W Posting of Workers Directive; whether collective agreements in construction will be enforced; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Sutcliffe
Guidance on the Posting of Workers Directive is available on the DTI website. Unlike most EU countries, the UK has a voluntarist system of collective employment relations. Collective agreements in construction are not universally applicable and accordingly are extended by law to cover employers and workers not party to them. These collective agreements are, therefore, not covered by the Directive, which we have fully implemented in the UK.
§ Paddy Tipping
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she last met representatives from trade unions representing construction industry workers to discuss the Posting of Workers Directive, with particular reference to its implication for(a) collective agreements and (b) health and safety.
§ Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 8 December 2003]
I meet the TUC periodically to discuss various issues, including matters relating to the construction industry. I am meeting representatives from the Transport and General Workers Union on 10 December, and I will be discussing the Posting of Workers Directive among other issues.