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Immigrants discriminated in cleaning services sector

Published on 24/02/2015

The investigation was done through anonymous phone calls, at the request of the Flemish organisation representing the interests of minorities (Vlaams Minderhedenforum).

The investigation was started on the basis of the following question: how do companies that offer cleaning services react when you ask them to send only a white, Flemish person and not a foreigner or a person of foreign descent?

It turns out that 67 percent accept this request for discrimination. Wouter Van Bellingen of the Vlaams Minderhedenforum is disappointed: “The system was set up to give people a chance to earn some money, to offer them a job. It now turns out that it has the opposite effect. In fact, this news means that the government is giving subsidies to discrimination.”

Service cheque companies managed by the government – like those linked to the local social service network OCMW – are most willing to honour a client’s request, with a figure of 75 per cent. “We were surprised to find this out. Three in four government-supported service cheque companies follow the question not to send anyone with a migration background. This raises big questions,” Van Bellingen told the VRT.

The situation is a bit better among commercial cleaning service companies, with temping agencies boasting the best results. 

The Flemish Employment Minister Philippe Muyters (N-VA) wants to meet the different parties involved to discuss this issue and to tackle the problem.

However, he does not support the idea launched by the Minderhedenforum to do systematic checks via anonymous phone calls.


Flandersnews.be / Expatica