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Netherlands – Staffing industry investigations proving successful

20 August 2013

A partnership between private and public staffing agencies is proving successful in stamping out rogue recruiters. In order to combat labour exploitation, illegal employment, and underpayment, the Approach Maleficent Employment (AMU) was established, in collaboration with the Social Affairs Inspectorate, Dutch Revenue and Customs, and the unemployment benefit office.

It is believed that a large number of employees are victims of exploitation by the so-called rogue recruitment firms. They are often hired by intermediaries or companies that call themselves agencies. These businesses are also often guilty of serious tax evasion.

Since the launch of the collaborated effort in mid-2012, the AMU has opened 55 separate investigations, looking into the practices of 84 recruitment agencies and 174 client companies. There have, to date, been 17 violations with regard to illegal employment and underpayment, with other cases on-going. Total fines and surcharges imposed amount to €3.3 million. 

In addition to the 55 investigations, 10 criminal investigations have been initiated. The police have submitted reports to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for seven of them.

The job market in the Netherlands is proving challenging at present and, as a result, unemployed people are more at risk in engaging with rogue recruitment agencies in order to secure employment. According to the latest figures from the Dutch Federation of Employment Agencies (ABU) temporary employee hours and turnover remain down. For the Dutch staffing market, Staffing Industry Analysts forecasts a single digit decline for 2013


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