Please report fake job applicants
The organisation of the self-employed (Unizo) is calling on businesses to pass on data about job applicants showing up only to keep up appearances.
Figures show that 7 in 10 employers are being confronted with fake candidates, but only 2 in 10 are actually reporting this to the Flemish Employment Service VDAB.
The VDAB welcomes the call, but adds that it is hard to say or to prove that someone is actually a real fake job applicant.
Unizo organised a poll to find out how widespread the problem actually is, asking 359 employers about their experience with false job applicants.
Some 7 in 10 employers have been confronted with the problem, it turns out, with an average of three fake job interviews per year.
Candidates sometimes come to an interview just because they have to turn up to keep their unemployment (or other) benefit, while they are not interested in the job itself or in finding employment at all.
Only 2 in 10 companies that are being confronted with the problem, are reporting this to the VDAB.
Some 5 in 10 argue that it is pointless, 3 in 10 don't know where to file a complaint while 2 in 10 are not making the effort out of commercial reasons, arguing that "unemployed people are also potential customers" and as they don't want to have a reputation of "a company denouncing other people".
"Some just admit it, others don't turn up in a second phase"
Karel Van Eetvelt of Unizo says that "this is no longer a problem in the margin. This type of social fraud must be tackled, because it impacts on social security costs."
Mr Van Eetvelt said companies just know that certain candidates are not interested in a job.
Some "1 in 5 of these false candidates just tell us straight away and admit they are there just to keep up appearances. Others fail to turn up in a next phase."
The fake job applicants are not only a problem to social security, but are also giving companies extra work.
It's not a coincidence that the call is being made now.
More federal powers are being transferred to the regions under the sixth reform at present, with Flanders becoming responsible for employment.
It will have the power to work out measures to motivate job seekers and to punish them if they are not making an effort.
Unizo's call is aimed straight at the new centre-right Flemish government that is being prepared now (N-VA and CD&V).
"Report every employer who doesn't even take the time to answer"
The VDAB itself is happy with Unizo's call, but points out that it's difficult to prove whether somebody is a fake job applicant.
"That's why it's important for us to be able to give individual counselling", says Bartelijne van den Bogaert.
It allows the VDAB to keep a close eye on the candidate and to find out whether he or she is motivated or not.
Trades unions are "not amused" with the call launched by Unizo.
The Christian trades union ACV is reversing the roles on Twitter: "Suggestion: every job applicant who doesn't get a letter back after aapplying for a job, reports the employer to the VDAB (and to Unizo)."
They add that not only an employer's silence but also cases of discrimination should be denounced.
"Suggestion: everyone that is being discriminated because of his background, files a complaint with the Centre for Equal Opportunities", a tweet said, or "Every older employee that is being discriminated because of age, should launch a complaint."
Flandersnews.be / Expatica