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The Netherlands – “Test” candidates to tackle discrimination in staffing industry

20 January 2012

After yesterday's meetings between two major Dutch employment agencies and the Social Affairs Minister Paul de Krom, the government has now introduced new measures to tackle discrimination in the staffing industry. So-called “mysteryguests” (i.e. test candidates) will secretly monitor and report the extent to which discrimination – based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or disability – occurs in the sector. 

These test candidates are part of a package which resulted from Thursday’s meetings between Mr Paul de Krom and the employment agencies ABU and NBBU, as well as the minority organisation LOM. The meeting had been called for by the organisations after a study found that over three quarters of staffing firms have accepted requests from employers not to hire Turkish, Moroccan or Surinamese staff. 

However, ABU and NBBU have made further demands to fight discrimination in the industry by implementing a Labour Standard Foundation "anti-discrimination code” which companies that hire agency workers should comply with. This code is regarded as the hallmark for staffing companies which want to publicly defy discrimination in their industry. Educational training and conferences have also been set up to address the issue as a result of  Thursday’s meeting

Minister Krom welcomes these initiatives and is positive that these measures will help to significantly reduce discrimination. 

"I expect progression [and] firm commitment from many parties, not just from professional organisations and agencies to solve the problem, but also from businesses,” he said.

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