Under the 4th call for proposals of b-solutions, the European Commission's Border Focal Point and the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) have selected 8 new advice cases that address obstacles in the thematic area of "Employment".
They are identified across 6 different European borders and describe issues that relate to the various dimensions of work, with an eye to the future of the working habits of citizens in cross-border regions.
Here it is the full list, take a look and learn more on the difficulties that many employers, employees and students still encounter in their daily life:
County Administrativ Board of Dalarna
Cross-border vocational quality education
The border region between Sweden and Norway hosts several companies whose growth is limited by the scarce availability of specialized workers in the area.
A solution to this problem could be the creation of a cross-border system of vocational education to provide customized training opportunities to the local youth and, at the same time, to ensure a higher availability of skilled workers to the local enterprises.
However, the coordination between the two vocational education systems poses several obstacles as they are organised following different national models which are difficult to adapt to the cross-border dimension.
Cross-border mobility of jobseekers engaged in vocational training: centre and company accessibility
In the territory of the Eurometropolis, people with jobseekers status face difficulties in accessing opportunities in the neighbouring country.
In particular, they cannot receive vocational trainings or attend work placement activities across the border because of the absence of a regulatory framework allowing that.
Furthermore, additional obstacles are posed by the current non-exportability of the unemployment- related state aids, that force the jobseekers to look for opportunities only in the country where the allowance is received.
Marshal's Office of Lower Silesia
s4g – solutions for good
The Marshal's Office of Lower Silesia in Poland is the national contact point for the implementation of the Czech Republic-Poland Interreg programme.
To ensure the cooperation between the two countries, some of its employees are seconded to the Interreg Joint Secretariat (JS) in Czech Republic.
This situation, however, raises far-reaching doubts about the obligations of the Marshal's Office as an employer, as well as for the applicable labour and social benefits rights of its employees.
Municipality of Trysil
Cross border riding and dog sledge guided tours
Active tourism and outdoor adventures are fast growing touristic products in the border region between Norway and Sweden.
Typical activities to explore the area from a touristic point of view include guided tours on horseback or with dog sledges
However, the cross-border exploitation of this kind of opportunities is limited because of the different and uncoordinated sanitary and veterinary requirements concerning horses and dogs existing in the two countries.
EGTC Galicia-Norte de Portugal
Simplification of the procedures for hiring and teleworking across the ES-PT border
The Covid-19 crisis and its economic implications have highlighted some already existing structural obstacles to the cross-border employment of workers in the border region between Galicia and Norte de Portugal.
In particular, uncertainties arise in relation to the required administrative procedures to allow for simultaneous work both in Spain and Portugal. Furthermore, a lack of clarity is also highlighted concerning the administrative steps to undertake to hire an employee who would work remotely for a company established in the neighbouring country.
Corona Pandemic and Home Office – Consequences for the social security and taxation of cross-border workers
In the trilateral border region between Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands, the “home-office” formula, introduced to limit the spread of the infections during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, has led to doubts and confusion concerning the status of cross-border workers.
Being the work carried out 100% from home and only on one side of the boundary, the general regulations on taxation and access to social benefits in cross-border contexts, turned out to be outdated.
As more and more flexible working habits are foreseen in the future, e.g. through the creation of hybrid in person-home office situations, targeted solutions conceived for the specificities of cross-border regions are needed.
Mini-jobs cause big problems in a cross-border context
The so-called “mini-job” contracts are very popular in Germany as they ensure to both employers and employees flexibility and reduced bureaucracy and taxation.
However, they can become problematic in terms of social security coverage, especially if the person taking over a German mini-job resides in the neighboring country.
Dutch workers, indeed, are obliged to give up their national social benefits, e.g. the health insurance, when working in another country. Because of this, the cross-border “mini-jobbers” have to request coverage by the German insurance, that is very expensive if compared to the average salary of a mini-job.
This situation reduces the overall attractiveness of cross-border employment.
European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Eurocity Chaves-Verín
On the Portuguese side of the Eurocity Chaves-Verin, there is a nursing school that hosts several Spanish students who cross the border every day to attend the classes.
Notwithstanding the high level of integration between the two sides, when at the end of their studies the Spanish students want to work in their own country, they face several difficulties to see their diploma recognized.
The administrative procedures for the recognition are complex, time-consuming and expensive and have a negative impact on the educational and employment systems in the territory of the Eurocity and, in general, at a cross-border level.