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Tougher penalties for social dumping

Employers guilty of underpaying foreign workers could face higher fines and sanctions


Foreign workers are being underpaid on construction sites (Photo: Colourbox)

March 24, 2014
08:25

by RW


Mette Frederiksen (S), the employment minister, wants to prosecute employers who pay foreign workers wages lower than legally allowed in Denmark.

“We have already devoted a lot of money to regulatory co-operation against social dumping , and we need greater fines and even more control,” Frederiksen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

Phony pay slips
Employers are conjuring up phony pay slips to hide the underpayment of workers from eastern European countries, according to the trade union 3F. By under-reporting the number of hours worked, companies create the impression that they are following the rules.

“When you cheat foreigners on their wages, it is unfair competition with companies who want to comply with the rules,” said Frederiksen.

“It also undermines the financing of the welfare state and is a direct attack on the whole of Denmark.”

READ MORE: Private inspectors to monitor city’s social dumping

Problem is "widespread"
Few cases have been reported thus far, and it is hard to quantify how widespread the social dumping problem is. 

However, representatives from the Danish construction industry called the problem “widespread” and said that very few companies that employ foreign workers are living up to the letter of the law.



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