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Netherlands – Employment agency in lawsuit over exploitation allegations

30 March 2012

The Dutch federation of trade unions, FNV, is preparing a lawsuit against a Netherlands-based employment agency for underpaying its workers, a spokesperson of FNV confirmed to Staffing Industry Analysts today.

The federation accuses the agency of underpaying some of its Polish temporary employees who are working in the construction industry. Krekels Personeel is alleged to have charged the workers a sum of €500 for accommodation per month and is also alleged not to have paid for overtime and expenses. The incidents are said to have taken place in the Northern region of the country, in Eemshaven.

FNV says that the employment agency has broken collective agreement rules by underpaying its staff. The federation said that it had suspected the agency a while ago and had asked a watchdog, SNCU, to investigate the case independently, which confirmed the suspicions yesterday.

Prior to this, FNV had confronted the employment agency after it had found out from the Polish workers that they were charged “absurd sums.” However, FNV said that the firm had “no plans to pay the employees according to the collective agreement” which is why it is now preparing a lawsuit against the agency.

FNV has not been able to confirm to Staffing Industry Analysts when the case will go to court but said that the firm had shown “previous irregularities” in their business practices. According to their website, Krekels has several offices in the Netherlands, as well as in Poland and Hungary.

The Netherlands has recently implemented a national hotline, allowing anybody who suspects a rogue agency to report it directly. This is part of the latest package of measures initiated by the Social Affairs Minister Henk Kamp who has actively been fighting against exploitation, human trafficking and illegal employment in the Dutch staffing industry. 

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