Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher is to work with trade unions and employers’ organisations on closing a loophole in the law allowing Dutch staffing agencies to bring cheap workers from eastern Europe into the Netherlands.
His written statement to parliament follows complaints at the weekend from Labour and Christian Democrat MPs that agencies in Poland are getting around the law by paying fruit and vegetable pickers a low Polish wage plus tax-free ‘expenses’ in the Netherlands.
Asscher said terms and conditions agreements must be better enforced and bankruptcy fraud and fraud through letterbox companies must be dealt with severely.
He also said the number of workers from eastern Europe working in the Netherlands continues to rise. There were an estimated 280,000 in 2008, rising to 340,000 in 2010.
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