Foreign embassies ignore Dutch labour law

Several foreign embassies in The Hague are paying staff below recommended levels and have poor working condititions, Dutch world service radio reports on Wednesday.

While the Dutch foreign affairs ministry publishes minimum wage and other recommendations, embassies do not have to comply with them and many fail to do so, the radio station said.
Researchers spoke to present and former staff at nine embassies, including the Iraqi, Chinese and Yemen diplomatic missions. The complaints ranged from being forced to work without employment contracts to intimidation and a ban on going outside during working hours.
Marieke Manschot of the Abvakabo trade union told the Volkskrant the complaints are the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Last week Manschot raised the alarm about underpaid staff at the Moroccan embassy in The Hague, the paper said.
‘Not everyone dares talk. If you work for a small mission, it is easy to track you down,’ Manschot said.
The Netherlands hosts some 150 diplomatic missions, most of which are in The Hague.

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