Polish company fined for underpayment

Construction Work Polish CompanyConstruction Work. Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

Company fined for underpayment – must pay NOK ½ million

A Polish construction company has repeatedly broken the regulation on minimum wages and was thus fined by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority for half a million kroner.

The magazine, Fri Fagbevegelse, wrote that in February three years ago, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority appeared unannounced on a construction site in Mjøndalen. The purpose of the audit was to check that the workers had been paid general wages, ie, the minimum wage.

At the construction site, the Authority met two Polish scaffolders, who were employed by the Polish company Wena Alicja Kaczynska from Gdynia, who worked for the company, Scaffolding Services. None of the two scaffolders had been paid the stipulated minimum wage.

Discovered several cases

In August last year, the Labour Inspectorate was again on supervision. This time on a building site in Haugesund. It was the same company that worked at the construction site in Mjøndalen, namely Scaffolding Services, and the work was once again carried out by three scaffolding contractors hired from the Polish company.

The audit revealed that the three Poles earned NOK 162 per hour, which was lower than the general wage they were entitled to. When the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority announced that they would be charged a violation fee, Wena replied that they only followed the collective agreement that Scaffolding Services had entered into.

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority replied to the Polish company that if Wena wish to make use of this tariff, the company must be a member of the Norwegian Industry, the employees of the Fellesforbundet, and a collective agreement must be established.

Complained about the decision

As Wena had previously been taken to underpay the employees, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority in Western Norway believed that it was appropriate to impose a violation fee of NOK 1 million on the company, which is the largest that the Labour Inspection Authority has imposed on a company for breach of the General Application Act.

Wena appealed the decision to the Directorate of Labour Inspection. The directorate considered the case to be serious and that the company should be charged the infringement fee. However, it was halved by the Directorate.



© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today



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