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Norway – Adecco caught in illegal practices scandal

04 March 2011

Staffing agency Adecco Norway has been accused of illegal labour practices such as paying wages below minimum levels, unacceptable working hours and conditions and, in some cases, pension contributions according to Dagsavisen newspaper.

As a result Adecco Norway has lost several contracts with nursing homes in the capital Oslo and other parts of the country as well as a contract with supermarket chain Coop.

Adecco Group, Chief Executive, Patrick De Maeseneire told Norwegian broadcasting service NRK that top managers were unaware until recently of the illegal working conditions. He said "of course, we have now heard about it. The situation is unfortunate and my colleagues and I acknowledge the violations."

De Maeseneire stressed that it is now important to rectify the situation and that payments will be made to temporary workers who were underpaid.

Speaking at a conference in Oslo, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, commented "the Adecco case underlines how important it is to have strong [labour market] regulation and strong trade unions to prevent social dumping."

Petter Furulund of Employer Organisation NHO commented to Aftenposten newspaper "it really irritates me that one company can ruin the reputation of a whole industry. This does not just put Adecco in a bad light."

Other NHO member staffing agencies held a crisis meeting on Wednesday to discuss how to deal with the Adecco Norway scandal.

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