News item | 11-24-2022 | 15:01

    Too many labor migrants still work under conditions that are unworthy of the Netherlands. It is therefore necessary that the mandatory certification bill be introduced as soon as possible. This bill ensures that employment agencies allow labor migrants to work under good working and living conditions.

    The bill will be sent to the House of Representatives in the spring of 2023, after which all employment agencies will have to apply for a certificate in 2024. This is what Minister Van Gennip of Social Affairs and Employment wrote to the House of Representatives today.

    Minister Van Gennip: “Too many labor migrants in the Netherlands work under conditions that are unworthy of the Netherlands. People who come to work here are entitled to decent living and working conditions. This is a responsibility of all of us: government, employers and employment agencies. The mandatory certification bill ensures that rogue employment agencies are tackled. An important part of the whole approach. That is why I want to speed up the introduction of this bill.”

    A new organization will be set up next year to issue certificates, which should be operational in the summer of 2024. In order to ensure that temporary employment agencies apply for a certificate as early as possible, they are encouraged to apply for a certificate before 1 August 2024 via an in-growth model. The temporary employment agency must therefore meet the requirements for the certificate.

    The Labor Inspectorate will be expanded from 2023 to enforce the certification obligation. The Labor Inspectorate can only enforce this if all temporary employment agencies have been given the opportunity to obtain a certificate. That will be on 1 January 2025, depending on the parliamentary debate and implementation. From that moment on, employment agencies that provide workers (including migrant workers) without certificates will be fined. Hirers who hire temporary workers from non-certified agencies can also be fined.

    In addition to the mandatory certification system, four other bills are relevant to protect migrant workers against poor living and working conditions:

    • The adjustment of the Personal Records Database Act (BPR) and the BPR Decree. These came into force in October 2022 and ensure that there is more insight into the residence of EU labor migrants in the Netherlands by registering a temporary residence address and contact details.
    • The Good Landlord Act. This was submitted to the House of Representatives in June 2022 and provides general rules that landlords and rental intermediaries must adhere to. Municipalities will also be given the power to introduce a permit requirement for renting accommodation to EU labor migrants.
    • The Double Reporting Obligation for Occupational Accidents Act. This law will soon be subject to consultation and will provide for mandatory notification of an occupational accident. In addition, the employer must ensure that the workplace is (again) safe and healthy to work.
    • The modernization of Article 273f of the Criminal Code. The aim is to make the criminal law approach to human trafficking – including labor exploitation and serious disadvantage – more effective and to improve the prosecution of perpetrators and the protection of victims. This bill will be submitted for internet consultation this year.

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