Senate Introduces Restrictions on Hiring Non-EU Employees
THE HAGUE, 14/11/13 - From 1 January 2014, it will be more difficult for employers in the Netherlands to hire employees from outside the EU. The Upper House has backed a proposed bill from Social Affairs Minister Lodewijk Asscher.
Due to the amendment of the Aliens Labour Act, work permits will from January only be approved for one year. To extend the employee’s job, it will then be necessary to apply for a new permit.
Only if employees from outside the EU has worked in the Netherlands for five years can they work without a permit. Currently, this is the case after three years.
The new law also requires employers to pay market-confirming salaries if they want to get a work permit. This must be at least the minimum wage, even if the employee is working part-time.
A work permit can be refused if the employer has in the past been convicted of a labour-related offence, such as, for example, unsafe working conditions. If it emerges that employers in a sector do not search enough for Dutch employees or employees from within the EU, the social affairs minister can then also impose a permit freeze on the sector.
Asscher is imposing these more stringent conditions for admission to the Dutch labour market because he considers it undesirable for employees from outside the EU to be taken on while there are enough work-seekers in the Netherlands. Critics say that Asscher is exaggerating this problem and there is scarcely any question of squeezing-out (of local labour), but that labour migrants with low education do work that Dutch employees do not want to do.