Four (4) years after the establishment of the ELA, its mandate is now up for review. The EFBWW has welcomed the European Parliament (EP) resolution that was adopted on 18 January, calling to update and strengthen the European Labour Authority (ELA) mandate in cross-border enforcement.
The recent ELA report on the construction sector shows that the rapid increase in the number of third country national workers in the construction sector, the growing use of agencies and other intermediaries in posting, longer and more complex subcontracting chains, leads to more cases of abuses, social dumping and labour crime.
The EFBWW fully supports a stronger mandate for ELA and a stronger focus on cross-border enforcement. This includes increasing the number of joint and concerted inspections, providing the necessary capacity and resources for ELA to investigate complex cross-border fraud and labour crime cases through its own initiative, and assist member states and social partners to collect fines and impose sanctions across borders. Furthermore, ELA should collect data on national inspections and their outcomes. In that regard ELA should act as an observatory for new labour crime trends, assisting sectoral social partners and influencing proposals for new policy initiatives.
During the ELA conference organised by the Belgian Presidency on 25 January, EFBWW general secretary, Tom Deleu said: “Social dumping, labour crime and exploitation of mobile workers is undermining the construction sector. We need a stronger ELA, with more powers. ELA must become a real authority in the field of enforcement. Given the importance of the construction industry –economically, but also in terms of risks and infringements - we call on ELA and the European Commission to set up a dedicated Construction Unit within ELA to deal with the many and complex challenges. The EFBWW is ready to contribute and support the activities of such a Unit. The EFBWW is also open to discuss a closer cooperation with ELA in the field of information and counselling of mobile construction workers”.
The EFBWW’s key demands towards fair mobility and a more sustainable construction industry are: limit subcontracting, ban intermediaries in posting, no public money for exploitation, a stronger ELA, more inspections (see: www.limitsubcontracting.eu). We expect that the next European Parliament and European Commission will take initiatives on these matters.