Seven-day working weeks at asparagus grower

The Inspectorate SZW has temporarily halted all work at an asparagus grower in the province of Noord-Brabant. It emerged that the 44 employees had been picking asparagus every day for six weeks, while they are entitled to, at least, the statutory rest period. It has also emerged that the asparagus pickers work 8 to 14 hours a day.

By halting the work, the employees are given time to rest. The employer has to set things right and abide by the rules about weekly rest of, at least, 36 consecutive hours. The Inspectorate SZW is currently investigating compliance with the Dutch Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act and the Dutch Working Hours Act.

The inspection was conducted in collaboration with municipal enforcers. The 44 asparagus pickers are migrant workers from Poland and Romania and they live in accommodation provided by the employer. During the inspection, the Inspectorate also checked if the working conditions are healthy and safe and if the employer takes measures to prevent the risk of infection with COVID-19 at work to the greatest possible extent.

The Inspectorate discovered that the employer fails on numerous points and ensures that the employer will take improvement measures as soon as possible.