What was the agreement between the representatives of the construction industry signed in Norway in 2019?
On May 23, 2019, an agreement was signed between representatives of the construction industry, in which Fellesforbundet (the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions) and Byggenæringens Landsforening (Trade Unions of the Construction Industry) undertook to comply with the rules aimed at improving labor market conditions – the most important provision was the provision on non-employment employees for less than 80 percent. full-time job. All this to fight against unfair practices of employment agencies, which often offer worse or even illegal conditions to economic immigrants.
According to the contract, companies hiring employees will also be required to check the documentation of the employed persons and verify that they have passed the appropriate HMS (Health and Safety) courses.
The low working time for employees in the construction industry means, first of all, the lack of stability and predictability – employees usually do not know where, when and how long they will work, and thus, they cannot predict how much they will earn in a given month. The contract signed by the parties in the construction industry is to mainly solve this problem – agencies will have to document the actual employment of at least 80 percent. full-time job and specified working time. In addition, intermediaries will also need to provide evidence that employees have completed the relevant HMS courses. The improvement of labor market conditions is also expected to be improved by training union members on the current regulations. Byggenæringens Landsforening also hopes that in addition to direct benefits for employees, permanent employment will also be associated with better quality of projects.
Since the beginning of 2019, the employment agency has been subject to stricter regulations, but the changes have proved to be an insufficient argument for some agencies – the Norwegian media often report more cases of illegal contracts with economic immigrants, among which Poles are the largest group. In the state-owned enterprise Statsbygg, which audited contracts between contractors and subcontractors in its projects, it turned out that a frequent problem with hired employees was insufficient full-time work and the lack of specified working time.