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Sweden – Case closed in Uniflex recruitment scandal

09 May 2012

No further measures will be taken against Scandinavia’s fifth-largest recruitment firm Uniflex, which was accused of illegal operational practices earlier this year in Sweden.

The Council of the Swedish confederation of staffing agencies, which consists of union members and representatives of the staffing industry, yesterday decided to close the case against Uniflex, saying the company’s own actions in the matter were “sufficient.”

But the Council also said that Uniflex had failed in their internal practices and violated ethical rules. However, the case was closed because the staffing firm had taken all the necessary steps to rectify the matter and minimise the risk of this happening again by, for instance, installing a “whistle blowing” function which allows employees to anonymously report irregularities in operational activities.

The CEO at Uniflex, Jan Bengtsson, said it “felt good” to have the support of the Council as the firm had “gone to the bottom” in this matter.

“Good relationships with employees and customers is critical to our business development and is a top priority. We also have good relationships with our union counterparts and protect the long-term cooperation. We are therefore pleased that the Board has listened to our arguments and are satisfied with our actions. Uniflex will continue to strive to be a company that people want to work for and work with,” he added.

Uniflex first attracted negative media attention when, back in January, the Swedish press uncovered that the staffing firm had offered employees “fictional” assignments to avoid paying a guaranteed salary, which employees are entitled to for covering for periods of unemployment. The only exception to this rule is when employees turn down a job in which case they lose their entitlement to the basic salary. Uniflex was accused of having offered some of its employees these non-existent jobs that some then declined. By doing so the employees were no longer eligible to receive their basic salary. Those employees who were affected by this illegal practice have since received their outstanding basic salary.

In January Mr Bengtsson blamed the scandal on one individual consultant who he said “tricked us all” and emphasised that it is the firm’s prime interest “to follow the rules and norms of Swedish law, of collective agreements and trade and employers' organisations.”

Uniflex is a Scandinavia-based staffing agency that operates in various sectors including industry, warehousing, construction, electricity, customer services, sales, management, cleaning and retail.


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