Sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals

EESC opinion: Sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals

Key points



  • underlines that the shortcomings of the Directive relate to its actual transposition and implementation by the Member States, in particular the considerable variability in sanctions, which in most cases means they do not do much to dissuade employers from hiring illegally staying third‑country nationals;
  • calls on Member States to step up their efforts to implement the Directive and to work actively with the Commission to ensure it is effective. It firmly supports the Commission's willingness to launch infringement proceedings against Member States should they persist in not providing all relevant information on implementation of the key obligations on sanctions, inspections and protection of migrants' rights stemming from the Directive;
  • recommends that Member States make appropriate use of the potential of all the sanctions provided for in the Directive, in particular the application of all additional administrative measures (loss of public benefits, exclusion from public contracts, recovery of public subsidies, temporary or permanent closure of establishments and withdrawal of licences to operate);
  • recommends that sanctions in Member States be devised in such a way as to be effective, dissuasive (more than offsetting the benefits) and proportionate, based on a comprehensive approach and incorporated into the legal framework of each Member State;
  • recommends to the Commission and Member States that migrants who work with the authorities to combat employers of illegally staying third-country workers be granted access to regular residence and work permits as a means of motivating them to engage actively with the authorities of the host country;
  • proposes that the Commission encourages Member States to have a sufficient number of labour inspectors relative to the number of workers in each Member State by 2024 in line with the ILO convention No 81, in the event that they not do so, consider legislation to implement this international standard in the EU;
  • recommends to the Commission and Member States use all available means, especially social and audio-visual media, to carry out information and awareness-raising campaigns, both for businesspeople who employ irregular migrants from third countries, informing them of the risks involved in hiring people under such conditions, and for the workers themselves, informing them, in several languages, of their rights and the way they can exercise them;
  • welcomes the initiative the Commission has taken, with the support of the European Migration Network, to set up an IT reporting system and database to provide timely, regular and comparable information, with a view to overcoming the current enormous difficulties.