Labour market fraud and malpractices

The Inspectorate SZW combats labour market fraud and malpractices in order to prevent unfair competition. Unfair competition leads to disruption in the business world and needs to be tackled rigorously.

Categories of unfair competion

The Inspectorate SZW combats various categories, including:

  • illegal employment (permitting work to be carried out by foreign nationals without valid residence permits and work permits, displacement of legal employees by illegal employees);
  • human trafficking / labour exploitation;
  • other forms of fraud and malpractices that cause unfair competition in the labour market.

How does the Inspectorate SZW operate?

The Inspectorate SZW combats unfair competion by supervising compliance with the following:

  • the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wet arbeid vreemdelingen), which obliges employers to permit foreign nationals to work legally in the Netherlands;
  • the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act (Wet minimumloon en minimumvakantiebijslag), which obliges employers to pay their employees at least the minimum wage and minimum holiday allowance;
  • the Placement of Personnel by Intermediaries Act (Wet allocatie arbeidskrachten door intermediairs), with rules governing employment mediation by intermediaries, such as employment agencies.

In addition, the Inspectorate SZW detects labour market fraud together with the National Public Prosecutor’s Office for Financial, Economic and Environmental Offences, with the aim of bringing the fraudsters to justice.

Heavy fines for minor offences

Any employer who employs one or more foreign nationals without the necessary work permit risks a heavy fine: EUR 8,000 per foreign national. Private individuals risk a fine of EUR 4,000 per foreign national. Fines of up to EUR 12,000 per underpaid employee will be imposed for paying under the minimum wage and minimum holiday allowance. You can read more about this subject on the page Enforcement and penalties.

Criminal settlement

Cases of serious and large-scale fraud (for example: the serious exploitation of people through forced labour or services) will be brought before the courts (criminal settlement). This will be preceded by an extensive criminal investigation carried out by the Detection department of the Inspectorate SZW.

(Anonymously) report labour market fraud or malpractices

Any complaints, tips or notifications relating to a labour market fraud or malpractices can be reported (anonymously) to the Inspectorate SZW. please check the webpage Complaints, tips, notifications and reports for your options.

If you are being underpaid, or are working under bad conditions, you can also make a complaint to the Inspectorate SZW.