News

European Labour Authority organised first joint inspection

aerial view apple harvest

The European Labour Authority has for the first time organized a joint inspection between two member states – France and Bulgaria - aiming to properly enforce rights of EU mobile workers. The action took place between 14-17 September in France with the participation of Bulgarian labour inspectors. The purpose of the joint inspection was to tackle recurring serious violations of labour and social rights of seasonal workers in the agricultural sector.

The European Labour Authority is committed to promote fair labour mobility and enforcement of EU rules, working together with all member states.

The Authority provides 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. The National Liaison Officers appointed by France and Bulgaria to work within the Authority have been 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 joint inspection took place in connection with 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.