And we call her: ‘Netherlands Labour Authority’

As per 1 January 2022, the Inspectorate SZW will be named “Netherlands Labour Authority”. This decision was prompted both by the introduction of the European Labour Authority, the European supervisor, and by the fact that the term Labour Authority is much more common practice.

The official new name will be ‘Netherlands Labour Authority’, or in Dutch: ‘Nederlandse Arbeidsinspectie’. The abbreviation NLA will be used in both English and Dutch publications. This choice was based on the introduction of the European supervisor: the European Labour Authority (ELA). The new name of the national supervisor, Netherlands Labour Authority (NLA), clearly indicates the relationship between the two, while the difference is also immediately clear.

It has also become clear over the past few years that the name ‘Labour Authority’ is still often used and is more familiar to both employers and employees than the official name, ‘Inspectorate SZW’. The new name also removes the misconception that the Inspectorate SZW, like a number of other inspectorates, is charged with supervising parts of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW).

European mobility

The increasing European mobility also has consequences for the supervision of the labour market. In 2019 the EU started working towards a system of supervision from the overarching European perspective by establishing the European Labour Authority. In order to express the connection between the European and the national level in its name, the Inspectorate SZW will change its name. By analogy with the name used at the European level, ELA, the Inspectorate SZW will henceforth use the abbreviation NLA: Netherlands Labour Authority.

The use of the abbreviation NLA, by analogy with the ELA, is most productive in English-language expressions as it links up to a familiar institute active at the supranational level, one that is likely to become more well-known still. It also emphasises the connection that exists between the ELA and the NLA.

Dutch practice

In Dutch-language expressions, the use of the abbreviation NLA for ‘Nederlandse Arbeidsinspectie’ is most productive. This first of all separates it clearly from the ELA, of which the NLA is a founding member. Secondly, the term links up to actual practice. In common practice, the inspection of labour conditions is commonly referred to as ‘labour inspection’, with the term both being used for the organisation and for the activity of ‘inspecting labour conditions’. By using the names NLA and Nederlandse Arbeidsinspectie, the references to the activity and the organisation conducting it coincide.

The name also prevents possible misconceptions that the supervision activities would specifically target components of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment when in fact, the supervisory activities target all employers in the Netherlands and are conducted in order to safeguard healthy, safe and fair working conditions for all workers and socio-economic security for all inhabitants of the Netherlands.