Ministry Investigating Possible EU Funding Misuse at Labor Agency ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Ministry of Social Affairs and SA Innove have started an investigation into the possible misuse of EU funds at the Labor Inspectorate.

The ministry received a complaint from an in-house lawyer at the Labor Inspectorate, who alleged that the inspectorate asked employers to pad their payroll with hours not actually worked, Eesti Päevaleht reported.

The suspicion centers on a EU-funded Social Ministry program from 2010 that aimed to reduce occupational health risks and improve the quality of work relations. SA Innove is a state-established lifelong learning foundation that channeled the EU funding to the program. According to the complaint, the extra fictitious working hours enabled to keep EU support for this program at an even level and avoid any reduction in financing.

The Labor Inspectorate has started an internal investigation and said such an offense is possible. However, Labor Inspectorate director Ain Noormägi said he could not rule out the allegations stemming from an internal personal conflict between employees.