SP demands effective regulation of employment bureaux for migrant workers

4 May 2010

SP demands effective regulation of employment bureaux for migrant workers

Social Affairs and Employment Minister Piet Hein Donner must immediately introduce a licensing system for employment bureaux which find work for foreign jobseekers. SP Member of Parliament and employment spokesman Paul Ulenbelt explains: “The introduction of permits would make it possible to exclude from the market any employment bureaux which do not operate in a bona fide manner, once and for all. The Union of International Employment Bureaux (known by its Dutch acronym, VIA) did put in place a quality mark designed to guarantee that affiliated bureaux treat foreign workers decently, but it has now been established that some members simply don't do that. Yet they aren't dealt with, all that happens is that the manager of the firm in question is made 'non-active'. This means that the quality mark in now worthless."

Paul Ulenbelt“Competition between employment bureaux on the basis of underpayment, poor housing and poor working conditions must end. VIA, headed by leading liberal Bert Bakker of the D66 party, is failing. We shouldn't be waiting on self-regulation. The minister must act," says Ulenbelt. "The SP has never had any faith in self-regulation in this sector. There used to be a licensing system for employment bureaux. Since it was scrapped, thousands of new bureaux have appeared on the scene. These are often very small, or in reality no more than a mobile phone number. Lots of them simply don't operate in good faith. As always, it's the worker who suffers."

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