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Netherlands – Hundreds of rogue agencies tackled

07 November 2012

The Dutch government and the staffing industry in the Netherlands have joined forces to crack down on rogue agencies with a new contract aiming to eliminate hundreds of dubious recruitment agencies in and around Rotterdam.

The contract was signed this week by the Federation of Private Employment Agencies (ABU), the municipality of Rotterdam, the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the trade union federation FNV.

Rogue agencies duck social contributions and taxes, and also pay lower wages to workers. There have been a number of cases this year which highlighted that foreign employees are particularly vulnerable to such operators. Rogue traders also cause millions in damages, and taint the picture of the staffing industry.

The government has already introduced a number of measures this year to reduce rogue agencies. This includes a mandatory listing of staffing firms in a trade register and the introduction of a national hotline, which allows members of the public to report suspicious companies.

The new agreement aims to take additional steps and increase cooperation between the parties. This will see greater focus on the individuals operating such rogue agencies who in some cases run more than one company. The moment these are identified, the rogue agencies will be shut down.

In July, official figures showed that 500 recruiters were suspected of violating labour rights.

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