German authorities to ramp up controls of German employers hiring Romanian workers

German authorities will step up checks of German employers hiring Romanian workers and increase penalties for employers' offences, German Labour and Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil and his Romanian counterpart Violeta Alexandru said on Thursday in a joint statement at the end of a videoconference they had during the day. According to a press statement of Romania's the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MMPS), during the discussion whose main topic was the protection of the rights of Romanian workers in Germany, the two officials concluded that the rights should be applied more carefully. "Especially during the pandemic, we aim to intensify co-operation between the two countries. We agree that work must not make people sick - not in the field, or in slaughterhouses, or elsewhere! All workers must benefit from fair working conditions regardless of the type of contract concluded. In Germany, the rights of Romanian workers must be observed and applied more carefully," reads the joint statement of the two ministers. Mandatory registration of working time for Romanian workers in Germany is another measure considered by Heil and Alexandru. "Germany will take an important step towards the Law on Health and Safety at Work. More checks, higher standards for accommodation and mandatory registration of working time, as well as higher penalties for employers' misconduct - these are the three types of measures designed to prevent abuse and exploitation in the future." Heil and Alexandru pledged that the two countries would co-operate within the European Union to protect the rights of seasonal workers. "We also want to join forces at European level to enforce the current rights of workers, including seasonal workers, more effectively. We aim to make significant progress in this area under the European Council's draft conclusions on seasonal workers, which we would like to see adopted at the October meeting of the Council of Ministers for Employment and Social Policy. We are determined to step up bilateral co-operation. Today, we have done so through video conferencing, but in the near future, we hope to have an in-person meeting. The joint work schedule of our ministries includes a review of social protection and better counselling for Romanian workers in Germany on their rights, an objective that will be achieved simultaneously in the two countries." Thursday's videoconference of the two ministers was organised after the German official cancelled at the last moment on Wednesday a scheduled visit to Romania, due to the evolution of the COCVID-19 cases in Bucharest, according to the MMPS press statement. AGERPRES (RO - author: George Coman; editor: Mariana Nica; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Cristina Zaharia)

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