Strategy to combat workrelated crime

Letter from Prime Minister Erna Solberg to the President of the European Commision Jean-Claude Juncker, about a proposal on an expanded collaboration on how to combat work-related crime.

Dear President Juncker

In recent years, a number of commendable initiatives have been taken in order to strengthen the social dimension of the European Union, most notably the European Pillar of Social Rights. We are pleased to see that importance is being attached to the social dimension and that initiatives are being taken to ensure good working conditions for all.

Promoting decent and fair working conditions is an important task for all countries. I would particularly like to highlight the need to combat activities that breach laws relating to pay and working conditions, social security and taxation. Combating work-related crime, including cross-border work-related crime, is a priority for my Government.

Norway wishes to share the experience it has gained from its efforts to combat this particular type of crime. The enclosed report discusses challenges associated with work-related crime and possible measures to combat this in greater detail.

Given that work-related crime and irresponsible practices are transnational challenges, I would like to propose establishing closer cooperation in this field within the European Economic Area. The aim would be to improve coordination of efforts between the various authorities involved – the police, the taxation authorities, the social security authorities and the labour market authorities. The social partners should also be actively involved in any dialogue on how to tackle these challenges.

One possible approach could be to develop a coherent European strategy for combating work-related crime, identifying ways of enhancing coordination of efforts in this area. This work could be seen in the context of the new initiative from the European Commission to study the feasibility of establishing a European Labour Authority.

A European strategy to combat work-related crime could, among other things, set out plans to:

  • Develop a guide for cross-border sharing of information between public agencies;
  • Implement better measures aimed at ensuring that employees and employers are properly informed about pay and working conditions;
  • Improve ID control and procedures for issuing ID documents;
  • Establish broad cross-border collaboration between different public authorities, such as the police, the taxation authorities and the labour inspection authorities, starting with a pilot project between Norway and another European state.

I look forward to seeing you at the Summit and to discussing these issues further in Gothenburg on 17 November.

Yours sincerely

Erna Solberg