The City Council is on the lookout for a team of private inspectors to detect and stop the use of underpaid and illegal workers at hundreds of construction and worksites across the city.
The private team is expected to start work on June 1 and its duties includes undertaking at least 400 annual random checks at distributors and subcontractors working for the City Council to ensure that they offer their employees proper wage and employment terms.
“When we built our new Water Culture House in Valby, there was a subcontractor that had hired some Polish workers on 40 kroner an hour,” Frank Jensen (S), Copenhagen’s mayor, told Politiken newspaper.
“We simply won’t stand for employees being exploited via council contracts and tasks. Social dumping is disgusting.”
The random checks will be unannounced and will include the checking of wage slips, employment contracts and accounts, as well as the photo ID of the employees.
Could be foreign
The City Council has set aside four million kroner annually for the next four years to fund the effort, and with a contract sum of that size, the task will be offered to the entire EU and Jensen wouldn’t rule out a foreign contractor.
“We expect that this task could interest law firms, accountants and engineer consultants,” Jensen said, convinced that other councils in Denmark would keenly follow the results of Copenhagen’s initiative.
While many of the unions support the city’s attempt to stop social dumping, construction advocate organisation Dansk Byggeri contends that the current monitoring system is adequate as it is.