In Brief - Protecting workers from exploitation: boosting inspections

Workers are being severely exploited for their labour across the EU, and
inspections are not effective at stopping this reality. Based on interviews with
almost 240 workers – including non-EU citizens who came to the EU and
EU nationals who moved to another EU country to work – a new FRA report
outlines the problem and identifies ways to bolster inspections.

What we found

Inspections do happen, but not often enough. Just over half of the workers did not experience, see or hear of inspections at their workplace. In some countries – such as Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom – this is true for over 70 %. Inspections are especially rare in construction and food services, and virtually non-existent in domestic work.

What next?

More inspections alone are not the solution. These also need to become more strategic and effective. Smart resource allocation is crucial. Monitoring and inspections should be targeted, based on insights into what sectors and circumstances entail the highest risks of exploitation. Past FRA research highlights key risk factors. Training monitoring staff to better assess risk factors and spot signs of exploitation can also help.