The social affairs ministry has launched a special complaints hotline where people from central and eastern Europe can register problems they’ve had with dubious employment agencies, minister Henk Kamp told MPs on Thursday.
The hotline was formally opened the same day that the European parliament is due to vote on a motion condemning the PVV’s website to register complaints about central and eastern Europeans.
According to the Volkskrant, Kamp has denied any connection between the two initiatives. ‘Our hotline was announced a while ago as part of a package of measures. It takes a while before a free phone line can be set up,’ Kamp’s spokesman said.
The government website and phone line is not only for people who feel they have been exploited by staffing agencies, but for companies who say they face unfair competition from cheap labour.
The initiative is part of a wider campaign involving councils, the tax office, employers and staffing agencies. The social affairs ministry has also recruited extra investigators.
Parliamentary researchers said earlier some 6,000 illegal employment agencies are recruiting workers for seasonal and temporary jobs in the Netherlands, mainly from central and eastern Europe. Many are put up in sub-standard accommodation and paid below the minimum wage.
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