Employer sanctions

The lawyers at De Vreede Advocaten have ample experience in representing companies incases in which fines have been imposed due to violations of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (‘Wet arbeid vreemdelingen’). They have successfully litigated on behalf oft heir clients and were able to avoid a fine from being imposed or reduce the imposed fine significantly.

Foreign Nationals Employment Act

According to the Foreign Nationals Employment Act, foreign nationals need a work permit(TWV) to work in the Netherlands. A work permit should be obtained prior to the start of the work in the Netherlands. Citizens of EU member states (save for Croatians) and Japanese nationals are exempted from the work permit requirement.

The Dutch work permit requirements are enforced by the Inspectorate SZW, that applies fines up to € 12.000 per illegal employee for companies and € 6.000 for sole proprietors or individuals. The Inspectorate will furthermore issue a fine of € 2.250 if copies of the identity documents of the illegal employees are not correctly kept in the personnel records. Please note that the highest administrative court in the Netherlands recently judged that the fine amounts are unreasonably high and should be lowered to € 8.000 per illegal employee for companies until legislative changes are made. For more information, please contact one of our lawyers at lawyers@devreede-law.nl.

To be regarded as an employer an employment contract is not needed. The fact that the employee provides a service to the employer is sufficient to establish an employment relationship. This broad definition of the term ‘employer’ means that a number of legal and natural persons can be fined for the same offence. A party in the so-called chain of employers, that has no (direct) involvement with the illegal employment, can therefore be fined even if he was unaware of the employment.

The Inspectorate SZW focuses it’s investigation primarily on companies in the cleaning and temporary employment sector, the building industry, catering and agriculture. The lawyers at De Vreede Advocaten have significant experience in representing companies in these industries in litigation.

Once the Inspectorate SZW has announced a fine, the lawyers of De Vreede Advocaten can represent your business in the adjudication phase or in court proceedings. If you are an employer facing a fine, or if you would like to receive more information on how to avoid a fine please contact one of our lawyers at lawyers@devreede-law.nl.

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