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European Labour Authority supported a joint inspection for the first time

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The European Labour Authority has for the first time supported a joint inspection between two member states aiming to properly enforce rights of EU mobile workers. The Authority started preparations for cross-border inspections since its establishment. This week was then the first time a joint inspection facilitated by the Authority actually took place in France with participation of Bulgarian labour inspectors. The joint inspection aimed to tackle recurring serious violations of labour and social rights of seasonal workers in the agricultural sector.


ELA is committed to promote inspections, so that every member state participates in at least one cross-border joint or concerted inspection by the end of the year.

The authority can provide targeted support and assistance in the preparation, coordination and follow-up of inspections. In this particular case, ELA provided a platform to organise the inspection, including facilitating the discussions between the Member States and providing for interpretation services. ELA’s staff was also deployed on the spot to observe and, where necessary, assist the Member States with expertise on the cross-border aspects of the joint inspection. In addition, ELA provided financial support for translation of case specific documentation and for travel and accommodation expenses for national authorities due to the cross border nature of the actions. National Liaison Officers sent by Member States to work at ELA, are a key feature in the success of this cooperation.

Concerted and joint inspections target the most serious irregularities and abuses of cross-border nature, revealing undeclared work, inadequate working conditions or other problems that could amount to labour exploitation. The aim of cross-border inspections in the long term is to ensure that the European legislation on free movement of workers and their equal treatment is guaranteed everywhere in the Union. ELA strongly encourages all Member States to engage in joint inspections and benefit from ELA’s support.

This first ELA supported joint inspection took place during ELA’s #Rights4AllSeasons campaign. The campaign raises awareness of seasonal workers' rights, employers' responsibilities and available assistance services.

The European Labour Authority was established on 31 July 2019 and its activities started in mid-October 2019, with the first Management Board meeting. ELA is expected to reach its full operational capacity by 2024.