Close to 20 hotels were fined nearly €50,000 for employing workers illegally, the labour ministry announced on Thursday following an investigation in July.

According to the ministry, targeted inspections conducted at hotel establishments across Cyprus by the labour ministry in July uncovered 43 employees without social insurance. As a result, a total of 20 notices of violation and 19 fines totalling €49,000, were issued.

According to a statement released by the labour ministry, the inspections were carried out as part of efforts to combat undeclared work and verify compliance with basic labour laws.

Checks were conducted at 90 establishments employing a total of 1,424 workers, of which 620 were men and 804 were women.

Out of the 1,424 workers, 554 were Cypriot, 520 were EU citizens, 316 were third-country nationals and 34 were Turkish Cypriots.

“The purpose of the inspections is to raise awareness among businesspeople regarding the consequences of undeclared work and non-compliance with relevant legislation,” the statement said.

According to the current law, employers hiring individuals without social insurance risk an administrative fine of €500 per person.

In addition to that, if inspectors determine that the violation period is longer, the fine is then multiplied by the actual months of employment during which the employee without social insurance has worked.