Belgium is Investigating Bulgarian Businesses for Labor Exploitation
Bulgarian companies offering care for the elderly in Belgium have exploited their workers, local media reported, referring to journalistic investigation data. Nine Bulgarian companies registered at the same address were inspected. They provided care workers for people who did not want to be accommodated in a nursing home. Care for the elderly was done at home, 24 hours a day, by 82 caregivers.
Employees in companies were forced to sign a contract that, if they talk to the Belgian authorities, owed a fine of 1000 euros. It is not known whether carers have been trained for the work they have done. The investigation found that Bulgarian workers received only 350-700 euros per month, half of the minimum wage in Belgium. At the same time, the elderly people who received care paid for the service 2500 euros a month.
The issues of overtime pay have not been settled, and workers have borne their own costs for airline tickets, accommodation, and healthcare. The Bulgarians have been sent for six months, and according to the media they have been victims of modern slave exploitation. Authorities in the northern province of Flanders have undertaken a check for which the Bulgarian companies have transferred the ownership. The Flemish authorities say they will take long-term measures to curb such abuses that harm older people and social workers alike.
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