Staffing agencies Randstad, Adecco under fire over worker privacy

passportsThe two biggest staffing agencies in the Netherlands – Randstad and Adecco – are infringing on the privacy of temporary workers, according to the Dutch privacy regulator CBP.

For example, both agencies register the reasons people are off sick and Randstad has recorded whether candidates wear headscarves or not. Both also take copies of potential workers’ passports, even though this should only be done once they have a job, the CPB says.

However, Jurriën Koops, director of the staffing agency umbrella group ABU, told the Volkskrant privacy rules need updating to cope with current flexible working demands.

Clients need to know what sort of person they are getting quickly and that he or she has the right to work in the Netherlands, Koops said.

CBP chairman Jacob Kohnstamm says staffing agencies should recognise the importance of privacy rules and keep within the law.

Both companies have now said they will make changes to the way they use worker information. In addition, Randstad said registering who wears headscarves is against company policy and will not be tolerated.

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