Many staffing agencies still willing to discriminate on request

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Researchers for a television current affairs show have found that many temporary employment agencies are willing to discriminate against people with an ethnic minority background if requested to do so.

Almost half of 78 temporary employment offices phoned by journalists with tv show Radar about jobs for a fictional call centre were willing not to send candidates with a Turkish, Moroccan or Surinamese background.

Comments made by the agencies ranged from ‘of course we can’t discriminate but we will take it into account,’ to ‘I’m not really allowed to say but I do understand’.

One third of the agencies said they would not cooperate with the request while 14% said it would be up to the client company who to employ.




Iris Andriessen of the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP said the figures are disturbing but do show a positive trend. In similar research dating from 2011, only 15% of staffing agencies turned down the request, she pointed out.

‘So it is positive that the percentage has risen sharply,’ she said.




Jurrien Koops, of staffing agency umbrella group ABU said in a reaction: ‘This shows us that we have to continually inform and train our members and their staff. And that discrimination is a tough social problem which cannot be solved by information alone.’

Earlier surveys have shown a similar picture. An SCP report in 2012 showed that youngsters from an ethnic minority background with the same cv, accent and clothing as their white peers are far less likely to find a job through an employment agency.

Once invited for an interview, the native Dutch person was offered the job on 44% of the occasions. Those with an ethnic minority background were offered the job 23% of the time.