More foreigners detected working illegally
24 August 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Arbeidsinspectie (labour inspectorate) has caught 2,500 foreigners working illegally for companies in the Netherlands during the first six months of 2005.
24 August 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Arbeidsinspectie (labour inspectorate) has caught 2,500 foreigners working illegally for companies in the Netherlands during the first six months of 2005.
This is almost 500 more than in the same period in 2004, according to figures published by the Ministry of Social Affairs on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's centre-right coalition last year ordered a clampdown on foreigners working without the proper permits in the Netherlands.
It is doing this to combat firms employing cheap illegal labour to undercut the competition and to stop those entitled to work being forced onto social welfare, the Social Affairs Ministry said.
Some 4,300 inspections were carried out at businesses in the last six months, compared with 3,000 in the first half of 2003. This year 1,100 fines were issued, amounting to 26 percent of the businesses checked compared with a detection rate of 23 percent — 700 businesses — in the year before.
The fine for hiring foreigners who do not have the proper documentation to work in the Netherlands increased from EUR 900 to EUR 8,000 per worker on 1 January.
The total sum paid in fines in the first half of 2005 has yet to be published but it is expected to come to roughly EUR 10 million, the Social Affairs Ministry said.
A flower wholesaler caught employing 21 'illegals' received the highest fine to date — EUR 168,000.
The majority of the infractions detected by the Labour Inspectorate relate to the horeca (catering and tourist industry), followed by the agricultural sector.
And in the first six months of 2005, some 88 fines were issued to individuals for hiring foreigners illegally to undertake building work.
The Ministry said the higher detection rate this year was thanks to an increase in the number of inspectors and more tips from the public.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news