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Netherlands – Employment agencies to register or face fines

11 June 2012

After several delays, employment agencies in the Netherlands now have to be registered in the trade register (Handelsregister) of the Chamber of Commerce as of 1 July 2012 in order to prevent fraud and illegal practices in the Dutch staffing industry. The Senate adopted the bill on 5 June 2012.

But this registration has been postponed a few times. Initially, it should have been enforced on 1 January 2012, but was delayed to 1 April and finally to 1 May. These deferrals have been caused by various delays in the Dutch Lower House and in the Senate, which raised questions regarding the registration requirement in April, leading to a further postponement.

It is not only staffing firms but also payroll companies which will have to register and failure to comply will result in high fines. If an employment agency is not registered, charges of €12,000 per employee will be imposed although this figure can potentially double and triple.

This new registration requirement aims to reduce the number of rogue agencies that underpay workers or operate illegally. It will make the owner of an employment agency visible and detect what activities are performed in an employment agency. It will also increase transparency over whether staffing firms comply with all points of collective labour agreements that ensure protection of temporary workers.

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