Wednesday, August 17

Labor reinforces its system of automatic fines to tackle temporary fraud

Yolanda Díaz in the Congress of Deputies.

Yolanda Díaz in the Congress of Deputies.
David castro

The Government has approved in its Council of Ministers this Tuesday the new strategic plan of the Work inspection for the period 2021-2023. Said plan contemplates an increase in resources both for new labor inspectors, as well as to reinforce resources and technical tools. This will allow, among others, greater frequency and efficiency in the use of artificial intelligence and electronic programs to impose sanctions automatically, through the crossing of data. Already in January of this year the Ministry of Labor I promoted a reform that allowed the imposition of sanctions in this way and without the need for an inspector to validate the minutes. A kind of ‘robotic inspector’, similar to the automatic process that governs to impose a traffic fine. Now, with this new strategic plan, the department led by Yolanda Díaz intends to expand resources and intensify inspection action in this line, with the aim of tackling, among others, fraud in the temporality.

“It is not enough that we have good standards, but the standards have to be met,” said the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz.; this Tuesday after the Council of Ministers. The new strategic plan aims to adapt the Inspection tools to the new realities of work – from remote work, to digital platforms, through hourly contracts. One of these tools is the automation of processes, that is, the Inspection programs will cross data and impose sanctions when they detect various assumptions that fit with types of fraud. A classic example is the abuse of temporality, with frequent and localized registrations and cancellations at certain times of the month or when the contract exceeds a certain duration and should go indefinite, among others. “We do not repair, but we anticipate,” said Díaz.

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The Ministry of Labor has already introduced during this legislature several modifications in relation to the Inspection. To this automation of certain sanctions – not all of them and on them it is possible to impose recourse before the courts – is added the increase in the amount of the sanctions. Specifically, in May Congress gave the green light to the 20% increase in the amount of all the requirements of the labor police. Díaz has also intensified the specific campaigns of the Inspection, multiplied the inspection activity in the 355%, according to data offered this Tuesday by the second vice president. So far this year, the Inspection has regularized 50,191 workers who were not properly registered with Social Security (either they were part-time and should be full, or false self-employed, among others) and has transformed 280,565 irregular temporary contracts in indefinite.

The new strategic plan also includes the creation of two new specific action units. One is the ‘State Office against Discrimination’, which will specifically pursue any type of discrimination that a worker may suffer on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation; among others. The other is a special unit focused on the ‘Fight Against Fraud in Transnational Work’, whose function will be to detect mailbox companies based in Spain and operating in other countries of the European Union and vice versa.

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