Netherlands – Labor inspectors demand new law to cover exploitation of seasonal workers (Dutchnews.nl)
25 November 2021
Inspectors from the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs have urged the government to change rules covering the exploitation of seasonal and other workers to make it easier to bring cases to court, reports Dutchnews.nl. Currently, failure to pay the minimum wage and working in unsafe conditions is treated as a form of human trafficking, making prosecution more difficult, inspectors say. “Prosecution is not possible in serious cases, even if the crime deserves it,” says a report from the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs. The report includes an analysis of 60 cases, most of which have never been brought to court. In September, MPs voted in favor of a motion calling for a change in the law, following the publication of a critical report by the National Court of Auditors. This report indicated that despite additional funds and more inspectors, the inspection had not imposed more fines.
The Social Affairs Ministry has indicated that changing the law is an option, but it will be up to the next cabinet to do so. In September 2021, nine Filipino truck drivers who were forced to drive more hours than the law allows and paid less than official tariffs were told by the prosecution that they could not sue their employer in justice for exploiting them due to a lack of evidence.