Digital technology against recruitment fraud in the labor market

Digital technology against recruitment fraud in the labor marketPress Photo (Freepik)

Over two decades, digital technologies have had a major impact on employment. And in pursuing workplace malpractices. This is evidenced by the Anti-Fraud Tool (HLF), a mechanism used by the Labor Inspectorate of the Basque Government Employment Department. In five years of use, change and improve nearly 30,000 employment contracts in Euskadi. The use of big data by crossing data extracted from various statistical platforms, together with the Labor and Social Security Inspectorate, an autonomous body attached to the Ministry, forms the main axis of this tool.

“The tool works well, achieving a deal conversion percentage close to 60%”, explains Deputy Minister of Labor Elena Pérez Barredo. Using algorithms and artificial intelligence and learning from previous fraud methods, HLF detects possible signs of irregularities in labor contracts, such as “violation of maximum terms of temporary contracts or their excessive integration”. After this first analysis, a letter is sent to the company concerned, which usually takes care of the content of the letter and replaces the employee’s temporary contract with an indefinite or full-time one.

The coming into force of labor reform has given the HLF a new strategic orientation, focusing on countering the anomalies in the part-time employment sector. “The labor reform represents a cultural change in the labor market, with a significant increase in permanent contracts,” says the Deputy Minister. This increase displaces temporary links, which lose presence in the labor sector and, therefore, require less intervention by the anti-fraud tool. “The causes and circumstances of temporary contracts are now better determined, This has led to shock projects being diverted to other modes of work such as partial contracts and permanent permanent contracts,” explains the Deputy Minister.

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Altered Contracts

Last year, the Basque Government Employment Department’s Labor Inspectorate reviewed 25,948 contracts as part of its shock program against fraud in recruitment and casual operations, of which 8,760 were converted into indefinite and full-time contracts. Last year’s labor reform has led to a decrease in temporary contracts and the growth of permanent contracts, although the Inspectorate continues to monitor that part-time work complies with the assumptions included in the Labor Law.

For the former, it is examined whether the temporary rate and the number of overtime hours in the organization exceed the legal limit, while for intermittent permanence, it is reviewed. Employees are the same or more than 85%. In this situation, the labor inspector acts again, sending a letter in the first instance, giving one month to correct the detected irregularity. After that limit, if no action is taken, the labor inspector decides whether to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the company. However, Perez Barredo makes it clear Labor inspection “has a corrective function, not a punitive one. Only 10% of proceedings end up in court. Approval is the last thing we want,” he asserts.

In addition to the work of the anti-fraud tool, which focuses on casualty schemes based on temporary and part-time employment, the labor inspector also conducts casual reviews with the same objectives. For example, last year, 25,948 contracts were reviewed by the labor inspectorate, of which 8,760 were converted into permanent contracts. Of these, 5,733 were the result of the trauma program and the rest were in the context of normal work. According to the Deputy Minister, “there is no sector that is particularly prone to fraud or making things worse, although there are industries that require different contracts, in this sense, it is the seasonality of the work that determines, for example, more or less permanent intermittent workers. In Euskadi, it does not reach 4% of intermittent permanent contracts , and they occur above all in the field of education. We have an economic system based on large industrial enterprises, with high levels of regulatory compliance”.

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In addition to its role in the recruitment landscape, the Basque Labor Inspectorate also develops campaigns in areas such as workplace accidents, gender equality, wage violations, time records, working conditions, psychological risks, subcontracting, regulation of EREs and inattentive workers. among others. “The Labor Inspectorate needs to be known by companies, but it’s also important that workers know it, so they know they can go to it to protect their rights,” says Deputy Minister Pérez Barredo. about this, Stresses the “importance” of having an anonymous mailbox to collect everything from to combat fraud, especially from smaller companies.. “If the complaint is found to be credible, it will be forwarded to the labor inspectorate for action,” he says. For this year, one of the planned campaigns involves intensive measures in health and safety resulting in an increase in the number of inspectors and sub-inspectors.

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