“Labour inspectors will visit us today or tomorrow. Managers should make sure that staff members who work more hours than they are contracted for are not visible during the next couple of days.” This is one of the instructions issued by the Human Resources department of a hotel company in San Antonio, in the form of a circular sent last week to the middle management of the company. It coincides with the start of a Balearic Government campaign against labour exploitation, which began on August 17th and provides for a total of 325 inspections in Ibiza and Formentera.
In the same internal circular, the head of Human Resources warns that labour inspectors would choose “random” employees to ask them about their working conditions, so recipients of the communication were urged to persuade their subordinates not to disclose their real working hours to the inspectors. “They should not tell them the hours that they actually work, but only the hours detailed in their contract”. Hotel managers were also urged to contact Human Resources if “in doubt” as to the type of contract of an employee and warned that sanctions or fines are €3,500 per person.
The Balearic Government’s Department of Labour, the promoter of the plan to combat labour exploitation, insisted that companies were not informed in advance of the visit of inspectors and that “only the officials themselves know which companies they will visit and when”. Minister of Labour, Iago Negueruela pointed out that “These professionals come from outside the Balearics, so they have no relationship with the islands.” He went on to attribute the internal circular to “nerves” of businesses that have workers in irregular situations when inspection campaigns of this type are announced.