Unfortunately, the government sometimes thinks that something is amiss, so an important part of our work consists of dealing with administrative fines imposed on companies (but also private persons!) for alleged violations of one of the labour laws and the Foreigners Act.
Obviously, the Foreigners Employment Act – illegal employment and administrative violations on the basis of that law – is number 1. However, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service – ‘IND’ – has also started to enforce the Foreigners Act effectively. Fines, revocation of residence permits and recognised sponsorships are the most common problems.
However, administrative enforcement is certainly not limited to the Foreigners Employment Act and the Foreigners Act. All labour laws have been rigged with administrative fines: the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act, the Working Hours Act, the Allocation of Workers by Intermediaries Act, the Working Conditions of Posted Workers in the European Union Act, and the Working Conditions Act. These laws are all administratively enforced by the Dutch labour inspectorate, the ‘Inspectie SZW’. We try as far as we can to maintain the best possible relationship with them. Because that is also in the interest of our clients. And it works very well. But in the end everyone has to play his or her role in the big game. So, as we say in Dutch, we play the ball as much as possible and not the man / woman. Soft when possible, hard if necessary.
In extreme cases, the inspectorate engages the Public Prosecution Service and criminal action is taken. In such a case – which fortunately does not happen often – we work with specialised criminal lawyers.