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Norway – Adecco accused of violating labour regulations

05 November 2012

At the beginning of October, it was claimed that the Norwegian Labour Inspectorate was planning to investigate Adecco over allegations that some of its workers posted to the TV broadcaster Viasat were harassed, threatened and forced to work overtime hours for free.

New reports from the country’s largest TV and radio broadcaster NRK, which first exposed the story, now claim that the investigation has found that Adecco, which supplied the workers, has violated labour law on 11 counts.  

The investigation states that Adecco is responsible for the agency workers while Viasat has to ensure it is complying with labour legislation. Viasat had previously denied knowing about the accusations, which involved workers reporting cases of harassment. Some employees said they had been forced to work overtime without getting paid for it as they were threatened with losing their jobs otherwise.

There have been “serious discrepancies” relating to working conditions, the inspectorate said, which is not ruling out imposing injunctions against Adecco. This regards in particular the claims of working hours and overtime work, unsatisfactory safety training and “excessive” control carried out against the employees.

Workers were put under psychological strain and were not given support to deal with such “challenges”, the inspectorate said.  It also stated that some workers did indeed not receive the overtime payments they were entitled to.

Adecco has to respond to the claims by mid-November and is to resolve the issue by January 2013.

The staffing company had started its own investigation and promised close cooperation with the inspectorate. Anne-Stine Talseth, who leads the communications department at the staffing company, said Adecco had identified a lot of the matters themselves and now aims to rectify them shortly. She has welcomed the investigation and said that this incident affects one of its branches only and is therefore not reflective of Adecco as a business. 


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