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Labour exploitation and underpayment are persistent problems in the Netherlands. As a result, the Dutch Federation of Private Employment Agencies (ABU), the Dutch Association of Mediation and Employment Agencies (NBBU), and an organisation responsible for monitoring compliance with collecting agreements (SNCU) have teamed up to tackle the issue. Collectively these organisations form the AMU – Approach Maleficent Employment programme.
In conjunction with the unemployment benefit office (UWV), local governments, and the tax authorities; the group working to identify companies and employment agencies that continue to flout the law. The combination of public and private organisations allows the AMU greater opportunity to identify rogue employment agencies.
Jurriën Koops, director of social affairs ABU said: “Only through cooperation can we identify the criminals. Separate the wheat from the chaff. Get under the skin of the boss so that the enterprise cannot start up again tomorrow.”
The aim of the initiative is to significantly reduce the number of unscrupulous employment agencies by the end of the year. The investigations focus primarily on labour exploitation, underpayment, identity fraud, tax evasion, and unfair competition. The enhanced cooperation agreement allows the AMU to investigate the entire employment chain to identify breaches.
Marco Bastian, director of NBBU, added: “We hope that our initiative will improve the image of the recruitment industry and create a fairer playing field for business owners, recruiters, and temporary workers. The big difference from before is that fewer assumptions are based on accounting books, thanks to the improved cooperation we have more insight into the problem.”
Wouter Waleson, chairman of the SNCU commented: “It is very important that the resulting attitude and cooperation be maintained. Cooperation between private and public enforcement must continue to prevent us going back to square one. The benefits of this cooperation are too important to permit that happening.”