Edition no. 14 Sept / Oct 2013
An Article by Sabrina L Williams with The Voice
In an attempt to prevent fraud in the employment sector, a new initiative has been put into play by Employment Minister, Fátima Báñez. Unfortunately, employment fraud is rife in Spain and even though it is commonplace, these practices are also completely illegal and include:
– Not registering employees on official contracts
– Declaring less hours on contracts than those actually worked
– Paying part of the worker’s salary in cash, only declaring a minimal amount
– Receiving unemployment benefits whilst working elsewhere for cash
TIP OFF BOX
The department wishes to eradicate the above practices and others similar by implementing a new scheme that will alert them to business owners and workers who continue to cheat the system. The Employment Postbox which has already been dubbed “the Tip-Off Box” is a way in which to report known offenders without having to give up any of your personal details in the process as it is totally anonymous. This will allow employees for example, to report this outrageous behaviour to the authorities anonymously, if they are too afraid to do so through traditional channels out of fear of losing their jobs.
WHAT TO DO
All you need to do is navigate to the website and fill in the online form with the company in questions details, and as much information as possible to better equip the investigation that would take place afterwards, by the Social Security’s Inspection Department, tasked with reviewing all allegations.
A spokesperson for Comisiones Obreras (Worker’s Committee) has expressed concerns about the logic of this postbox, saying that in the long run “it will prove to be counterproductive and will cultivate a totalitarian political system”, in which the State holds complete authority over society, seeking to control all aspects of public and private life whenever necessary. There are also serious doubts about the man-power necessary to process the influx complaints that will surely be received, however José Ignacio Sacristán Enciso, Director of the Inspection Department has responded to this criticism stating that anonymous complaints were already been received and “this system will only improve the situation”, even though he does admit that its functionality still raises questions.
Much to Fátima Báñez’s dismay, once the postbox went live, a wave of complaints against the governing Popular Party (P.P.) were received denouncing the now famous and on-going case against its now incarcerated ex-treasurer, Luis Bárcenas for reportedly being paid monies in cash with people even taking to Twitter to show their disdain!
During the first half of 2013, 60.004 people were struck from the register after it was found they had been fraudulently receiving unemployment benefits. This means savings of an astounding 915,2 million euros.
While the effectiveness of the Employment Postbox is still as yet unknown, it is true that the ease in which some business owners con not only the system but their own employees is disgusting and an issue that should have been tackled a long time ago to ensure job security and equality, the same goes for those who repeatedly cheat the system by claiming unemployment benefits even though they receive an income elsewhere.
If you wish to notify the authorities of a case you are aware of, log onto http://www.empleo.gob.es\buzonfraude\index.jsp and do your part to bring Justice to all!