European Labour Authority (ELA)

Labour mobility and exploitation now handled at EU level

November 19, 2019 – About 17 million European citizens currently live or work in another EU Member State – twice as many as a decade ago. The EU has developed a substantial body of legislation however, effectively enforcing EU rules across the Member States requires structured cooperation and exchange between competent national authorities, as well as resources for common activities, such as organising joint inspections or training national staff to deal with cross-border cases. The EU believes that this requires an European approach to fraud and exploitation.

The European Labour Authority (ELA):

  • contributes to ensuring that EU rules on labour mobility and social security coordination are enforced in a fair, simple and effective way
  • makes it easier for citizens and businesses to reap the benefits of the internal market
  • assists national authorities in cooperating for the effective enforcement of the rules.

The EU member states remain responsible and are not required to participate in the activities of the ELA. However, national labor inspectorates must start functioning at European level. The ELA monitors compliance European labor laws at national and European level and will support EU Member States in informing citizens and employees about the rights and obligations of cross-border work.  The right to national or cross-border inspections continues to apply at national level. However, the ELA can make a proposal for a joint inspection when a suspected fraud or abuse case is suspected.

The ELA office will be located in the Slovak capital Bratislava. The Authority was established 31 July 2019 and the activities have started mid-October with the first meeting of the ELA Management Board. The ELA is expected to reach its full operational capacity by 2024. 

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Marieke Stoop

Marieke Stoop is the founder of Human In Progress. She is the content owner of the HR Portal NL covering Human Resources best practices with a focus on leadership, trends and labour law.