Workforce worries prompt new register

  • 2007-08-23
  • From wire reports
RIGA - The Latvian Welfare Ministry has developed proposals designed to crack down on illegal labor by issuing special employee certificates a spokeswoman has confirmed to Baltic News Service, Aug 23.

Companies will have to ensure that no unauthorized persons without certificates are present on site and will apply to all sub-contractors who may be engaged on a single project.

The companies will also have to compile employee lists listing workers' names, identity numbers, and dates of employment, along with a photograph, and workers will also be required to produce their registration documents on demand for inspectors.

The proposals are included in an amendment to the Cabinet of Ministers' regulations Labour Protection Requirements During the Performance of Construction Works. The government has yet to finalise the regulations.

Large numbers of illegally-employed construction workers are believed to be operating throughout the Baltic region, partly as a result of the movement of large numbers of indigenous workers to Western Europe where skilled builders, plumbers and electricians can command large salaries. Many of the illegal workers are believed to come from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

However, the labor gap is starting to create extra headaches with concerns about the quality of work undertaken by migrant workers who tend to be trained to a lesser standard than the Baltic workers they are replacing.

Roberts Stafeckis, head of the Latvian office of the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce, is the latest person to express concern about the widening labor-skills gap.

Speaking to BNS, he said that German businessmen are facing recruitment problems. He expressed the opinion that it is almost impossible to find a qualified and productive workforce outside the big cities, and there are problems with unqualified workers