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Brussels to tackle ‘social dumping’ to close staffing agency loopholes

The European Commission has published plans to tackle ‘social dumping’, the way companies use low-cost EU workers to get round pay laws in other member countries.


This weekend, the Volkskrant revealed how Romanian workers are being paid well below Dutch minimum wages to work for years in Dutch shipyards via a complicated staffing agency construction.


Dutch social affairs minister, Lodewijk Asscher, has been pressing for change to the regulations which allow companies to effectively get round local laws.


The number of EU workers sent to other countries on short-term contracts has risen almost 40% in the last four years, and totalled almost 1.9m in 2014, the commission said on Tuesday.


In 2014, some 88,000 people were posted to work in the Netherlands. Most of them came from Germany (34%), followed by Belgium and Poland. By contrast, that year 116,000 Dutch workers were posted to other European Union countries.


The new commission proposals mean foreign workers will have to be paid the same as locals, including holiday bonuses and travel costs. They can also only be posted abroad for a maximum of two years. After that, they will be entitled to social security and pension benefits in line with the host country.


Original story sourced from Dutch


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