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Netherlands - Fines increased substantially

31 December 2012

Harry van Heijningen, board member of the Dutch Association of Mediation and Employment Agencies (NBBU), expects the life for rogue agencies and those who use them will get a lot harder when the new measures taken by the Ministry of Social Affairs come into force in tomorrow. To paraphrase what he said to Algemeen Dagblad - in addition to adverse reputational damage for companies who deal with bad agencies their will now also be major financial risks.

As we reported in November fines are being increased from 1 January 2013 from €8,000 to €12,000 per employee for the employers of illegal workers. Seven years ago, the penalty for this offense was €900. For repeat offenders, their businesses may be shut down for a period of up to three months or their assets seized.

Van Heijningen says working with an unreliable agency can cost employers dearly. The government sees them  as a direct extension of these malpractices.

The measures should ensure that rogue agencies are better distinguished from the reliable according to Van Heijningen. To paraphrase him again, there are 3000 certified agencies, so plenty of choice. Companies that organise their affairs well run no risk.

NBBU describes itself as the trade association for the SME segment in the staffing industry and flex market. The association founded in  1994 represents the collective interests of about 800 agencies and is authorized to conclude collective agreements. 

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