Polish and Dutch labour inspectorates sign agreement on cooperation

The Dutch Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate and the Polish National Labour Inspectorate have concluded an agreement on cooperation in the fight against abuses in their countries' labour markets. The agreement was signed by Dutch Inspector-General Jan van den Bos and Polish Chief Labour Inspector Iwona Hickiewicz.

The two inspectorates share the conviction that strengthening international cooperation is vital. The great importance to both countries of the free movement of people, goods and services makes it all the more urgent to prevent abuses of these freedoms. Fair competition is essential. The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment had earlier signed similar accords with Romania and Bulgaria.

The agreement's main aim is to step up exchanges of information between the two inspectorates, particularly concerning sham employment arrangements, rogue employment agencies and companies that violate labour laws. This will make it possible to better inform Polish labour migrants and protect them against abuses committed by employers. The Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate will at the same time be able to obtain information more easily from the Polish National Labour Inspectorate about alleged abuses.

Inspector-General Van der Bos stressed the agreement's importance for the Dutch and Polish economies. 'Our goal is to ensure that people work in decent conditions, earn fair wages and have effective social protection,' he said. 'In our current economic system companies are often impelled to cut costs, and unfortunately that often leads to excesses like underpayment and exploitation. The enhanced cooperation we agreed today will enable our inspectorates to work in concert to oppose these abuses.'

Chief Labour Inspector Hickiewicz for her part emphasised the importance of the partnership for Poland. 'This agreement should serve as a model of how we can give dishonest employers a hard time when they resort to these kinds of practices,' she said. 'And if we succeed in that, the agreement will also be a political success.'