Mushroom grower, Bulgarian staffing agency fined €3m

Social affairs ministry inspectors have fined a Dutch mushroom grower €2.4m and a Bulgarian staffing agency €600,000 for breaking employment laws.

Inspectors found 78 Bulgarian nationals working at four different nurseries without proper permits.  The Bulgarians were employed via a staffing agency which argued the work was covered by cross-border employment legislation.

The inspectors decided this was not the case because the Bulgarians fell under the supervision of the Dutch firm. This means they should have had work permits.


Earlier this year social affairs ministry inspectors were told to step up their supervision of the mushroom industry after a television programme uncovered wide-spread exploitation of staff and employment legislation infringements.

The inspectorate announced plans to check up on 80 of the 130 companies operating in the sector this year, together with tax and immigration officials.

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