Luxembourg criticised over labour exploitation laws
(CS/ml) In a report published last week, the European Fundamental Rights Agency criticsed Luxembourg for its lenient approach towards people exploiting their workers.
In its report, the FRA concluded that worker exploitation “is not an isolated or marginal phenomenon” in Europe, saying that in particular third country nationals and immigrants are prone to falling victim to unacceptable labour conditions.
Workers across Europe had their passports taken away by employers, the study found, earning well below living wage, without a contract, health insurance or regulated free days or break times.
The report was based on some 600 interviews with unions, the police and labour inspections.
While the study does not give any detailed information on the scale or extent of labour exploitation in Luxembourg, the Grand Duchy was nonetheless criticised for the lenient punishments awaiting offenders.
Luxembourg was pointed out as one of four member states, alongside the Czech Republic, Greece and Latvia, where “the offence of employing a worker in an irregular situation under particularly exploitative working conditions is punishable with a maximum sentence of less than two years.
“Such as penalty hardly reflects the gravity of violations of fundamental rights encountered by victims of such offences,” the FRA commented.
Sentences in Luxembourg can be as low as eight days.
Across the EU, labour exploitation was most common in agriculture and fishing, as well as construction the hotel and restaurant sector, as well as employment in the home.
To solve the issue, the FRA said that “EU-level consensus is needed which states that severe labour exploitation is unacceptable and that all workers are entitled to the effective protection of their rights.
“If the EU and its Member States are serious about maintaining national and international labour standards, accepting systemic labour exploitation is not an option.”
For the full report visit fra.europa.eu