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Parliamentary questions
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16 January 2019
Question for written answer E-000206-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D)

 Subject:  Exploitation of European workers in the Netherlands
 Answer in writing 

We have recently learned of the exploitation being suffered by workers of Spanish and other nationalities in the Netherlands, documented in two trade union reports (‘Trabajar en Holanda’, Fundación 1. de Mayo, from Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), and ‘Randstad’s Magic Box of Tricks’, from the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV)).

These workers are snared by temporary employment agencies operating in Spain. On arrival in the Netherlands they find their working conditions have deteriorated (they have zero-hours contracts, they live in camp-type accommodation and the company deducts accommodation and transport costs from their pay).

Under the Temporary Work Agencies Directive, these workers are entitled to the same rights as those of the company using their services. The rules on the free movement of EU workers lay down the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination vis-à-vis nationals of the host country. However, the temporary nature of their work, combined with frequent switches from one user company to another, means many of them are not registered as resident in the Netherlands and that complicates the exercise of their rights, including with regard to taxation, thus making them extremely vulnerable.

1. Is the Commission aware of this situation?

2. Is it going to take measures of some kind to protect these EU workers suffering discrimination in another Member State of the Union?

Original language of question: ES 
Last updated: 11 February 2019Legal notice