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PostSubject: Better control over workers’ rights   Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:00 pm


Better control over workers’ rights

Experts from the General Labour Inspectorate Executive Agency /GLIEA/ have strengthened over the past few months the control on employers, regarding compliance with the labor rights of the employees. 110 new assistants to the inspectors from the agency will take over some part of their work. The new jobs have been opened with EU funding. Thus more inspections will follow. The project is under the Human Resources Development Operational Programme and is worth some EUR 128 mln.

“Those 110 assistants will take over that part of the activities in the directorates all over the country, which doesn’t require inspectors’ rights, Georgi Milchin, Secretary General of GLIEA explains. They will participate in each activity of the agency and sometimes even in the inspections, but won’t be able to enforce coercive administrative measures. On the other hand they can be witnesses in such actions.”

The grey sector of the economy is still a serious part of it. Unfair employers take each chance to hide revenues, including cases, related to payment and social securities. The main goal of the inspections of GLIEA and the National Revenue Agency /NRA/ is such entrepreneurs to be found, forced to declare their actual income and also forced to sign labour contracts with their employees. The law provides fines for the violators. For instance, an employer, who has hired a person with no labour contract, may be fined with up to EUR 7,500 per capita. There are more inspections in the sea resorts over the active summer season, since seasonal employment gives chance for serious violations. The employees themselves feel the lack of social securities, when they try to retire. The employers use another trick – they hire someone for 4 hours, but actually the person works even more than 8 hours. There are frequent violations in the construction business and agricultural sector too, Mr. Milchin maintains.

“We check mainly for workers with no labour contracts at the seaside and try to discover the entrepreneurs, who have worked that way – Georgi Milchin further says. – The inspections concern payment and working hours. If there is a contract, we check whether the person is hired for 8 hours. About 1,000 inspections of that kind had taken place end-July 2011, results showed. A total of 9,000 people worked in the places checked. 310 of those had no labour contracts. 580 people worked part-time.”

The most common violation right now is the hiring of part-time employees, who work extra hours, Mr. Milchin says. There are cases with employees, hired for 4 hours and working 12 and more hours. There are even striking cases, when employers force people with 4-hour labour contract to work even up to 24 hours. Each employee fills in a declaration of his or her status during such check – whether there is a signed labour contract and what the length of the working day is. The employer has to show documents, proving his labour connections with the employees. Labour inspectors are connected on-line with the NRA system, where labour contracts are declared and thus the truth can be easily discovered.

A part of the inspections concern the hiring of minors and under-aged people that need a written permission from GLIEA and the approval of their parents to start work. According to the Labour Code that age group can work only part-time. Over 8,000 permissions of that kind have been issued only in the port town of Burgas this summer.

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