Cyprus Tackles Illegal Work with Inspections and Worker Census

Labour Minister Announces Aggressive Measures Against Illegal Work in Cyprus

In a bold move to combat the issue of illegal employment, Cyprus’ Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou has announced a series of measures to aggressively tackle the problem. Celebrating his first year in office and looking forward to the next, Panayiotou has declared his intention to reinforce the institutional framework that governs workplace inspections, aiming to root out illegal work practices across the island nation.

The plan includes an increase in the frequency of inspections and the implementation of an electronic census to monitor all employees and self-employed individuals. This digital initiative is designed to enhance government oversight of the labour market and ensure that workers are correctly classified for social insurance purposes, particularly targeting those who falsely claim self-employment status.

Further reforms outlined by Panayiotou include improving the regulation of work terms and conditions, with a special focus on creating a stronger framework to address workplace bullying and harassment. The Labour Minister is also set on aligning Cyprus’ legislation with European Union directives concerning minimum wages and enhancing the social dialogue for better labour relations regulation.

Support for working parents is also on the agenda, with plans to augment state benefits for both working and self-employed parents and ensuring timely maternity pay. Panayiotou’s strategy also involves bolstering the employment rate of local workers and launching a targeted campaign to attract workers from EU and European Economic Area countries, allowing for more flexible staffing solutions in Cyprus.

In an international context, the government is looking to forge bilateral agreements with EU candidate countries and other third nations to tap into medium and low-skilled labour pools.

Reflecting on his tenure thus far, Panayiotou highlighted significant achievements such as the increase in the cost-of-living allowance (CoLA), which has positively impacted 180,000 workers, and the rise in minimum wage to €1,000 per month, benefiting 25,000 individuals. He also noted improvements in pension payments and unemployment benefits processing times, as well as extended maternity leave for new mothers.

These comprehensive measures underscore the Cypriot government’s commitment to fostering a fair and legal labour environment while supporting its workforce’s welfare. As Cyprus continues to align its policies with broader European standards, it sets an example in addressing labour market challenges with determination and innovation.


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