Ministry inspectors to name and shame dodgy employers

Social affairs ministry inspectors are to name and shame companies which break minimum wage rules and exploit their staff in other ways, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said on Friday.

The decision to make public the names of companies breaking the law is part of Asscher’s campaign to stop staffing agencies taking advantage of workers who are not properly aware of their rights.

Thousands of eastern Europeans work in the Netherlands via staffing agencies but are often paid below the legal level and have to pay large sums for board and lodging. ‘Such constructions not only lead to the exploitation of workers but spoil Dutch people’s chances of finding work,’ Asscher told website . ‘That is undermining all we have built up.

The inspectors are also to publish details from their reports about environmental infringements, such as breaking laws on asbestos and dangerous chemicals. This is likely to happen in the second quarter of this year, the social affairs ministry said in a statement.

However, the naming of companies which break employment laws will take longer and will be incorporated into new legislation later in 2014, the minister said.


Social affairs ministry inspectors and tax officials fined staffing agencies a total €5m for breaking employment rules in 2012.

The fines, handed out after normal inspections revealed irregularities, included offences such as illegal employment, paying below minimum wage level, forgery of documents and exploitation of workers.

In total, 1,300 staffing agencies were visited by government inspectors and 42 formal investigations were started.

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