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Stalemate over illegal employment

Talks between employer representatives and the government in the National Interest Reconciliation Council (OÉT) have reached a stalemate over illegal employment issues this week. Company executives refused to accept the Employment and Labor Ministry's proposal to raise the maximum penalty to Ft 20 million in spite of a statement by State Secretary László Herczog who said the highest possible fine would only apply to repeat offenders, with inspectors also considering the number of staffers whose employment was in breach of labor regulations. The government is especially seeking to crack down on irregularities in the temping sector, where illegal employment is rife even according to corporate leaders. The government has no plans to lay the plan before Parliament before a consensus is reached, Employment and Labor Minister Gábor Csizmár said. The delay is likely to hinder minimum wage talks, another key point on the OÉT agenda. (Wed Vg 3) P.P.