OECD: Sweden has poor eye on working conditions

Sweden has poor control over people coming from outside the EU to work, specifically including aspects related to the pay and conditions they have been promised, according to findings by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees, (Tjänstemännens Centralorganisation, TCO), is demanding the government make changes to existing legislation.

“Now is the time for the government to adopt the needed legislative changes, for example, to be able to cross-check records between the tax and immigration services, in each case,” Samuel Engblom, lawyer for TCO, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

In a draft assessment, the OECD criticized the Swedish labour migration system and submitted recommendations for Sweden to tighten its control, according to reports from SR, which had access to the report.

Since its inception in 2008, the law allowing for labour migration in the country has resulted in nearly 47,000 work permits being granted by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

According to media reports, groups that drew the most attention involved seasonal berry-pickers as well as foreign labour used in the restaurant industry.

One such suggestion toward sharpening controls of the working conditions could be to check pay slips against tax returns.

In a letter submitted to the government last summer, the Migration Board said that it does not have the power to examine the working conditions or to see employment contracts.

“We can recover job offers, but we cannot control how the agreement was devised,” said the director of the Migration Board’s work permit division, Alejandro Firpo, to the TT news agency in July.

Amongst other criticisms, the Swedish labour migration law has also come under fire for enabling a new major area in human trafficking.

The mission of the OECD is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well being of people around the world.

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