ABU Fair Employment Code for Labour Migrants

The ABU Fair Employment Code for Labour Migrants applies for ABU members (referred to below as ‘members’) who mediate for labour migrants. In addition to the statutory requirements and the Collective Labour Agreement for Temporary Agency Workers (referred to below as ‘the CLA’), the Code offers extra security for this group of employees.

With this code, the Federation of Private Employment Agencies (ABU) aims to contribute towards more certainty for labour migrants, increasing the quality standards of service, fair competition and a level playing field in the sector. The use of payment under an A1 certificate of coverage and contracting is contrary to these objectives. For that reason, the ABU rejects the use of these forms of employment. Members will be notified of this.

The code forms part of the ABU Company rules as a mandatory membership criterion. In signing this code, members who provide agency services for labour migrants declare that they will comply with the code and that they are available for inspection of compliance with it. The ABU has the right to dismiss members that do not comply with this code.

  1. Health and safety: the health and safety of labour migrants has the highest priority. In addition to laws and regulations, during the coronavirus pandemic, members apply the guidelines of the current ABU Coronavirus Safety Protocol for Labour Migrants.

  2. Recruitment and selection: members and their recruitment agencies ensure a transparent recruitment process via the application of the guidelines of the enclosed ABU Fair Recruitment Charter. The charter is based on the Fair Recruitment Code of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and is supplemented with extra guidelines.

  3. Contract: members ensure that the agency work employment contract and the accompanying documents are available both in Dutch and in the language of the labour migrant’s country of origin.

  4. Remuneration: labour migrants and Dutch temporary agency workers receive equal pay for equal work, in accordance with the CLA.

  5. Registration: on the basis of the Wet Basisregistratie Personen (BRP, Personal Records Database Act), labour migrants are responsible for correct registration as residents or non-residents. Members encourage labour migrants to register as residents in the BRP by following the four guidelines below:
    1. Members actively inform labour migrants about the differences between Registration of NonResidents (RNI) and registration as residents in the BRP before they come to the Netherlands;
    2. Members actively notify labour migrants of the possibility of submitting a request to the municipal authority for registration as a resident in the municipal BRP after arrival in the Netherlands;
    3. Members request municipal authorities to enable registration in the BRP at the location of the labour migrants’ accommodation;
    4. Members actively notify labour migrants who are new to the Netherlands and starting with registration as non-residents of the possibility of submitting a request to the municipal authority for registration as a resident, four months after the issue of the citizen service number (BSN) and the registration as a non-resident;
  6. Accommodation: members actively inform labour migrants about the following accommodation options in the Netherlands:
    1. The labour migrant arranges accommodation personally, at his or her own initiative.
    2. The labour migrant asks the employer to facilitate accommodation. If the labour migrant chooses this option, only accommodation certified by the Stichting Normering Flexwonen (Foundation for Flexible Housing Standards, SNF) can be offered. In addition, the following requirements apply for members:
      1. Members actively inform labour migrants that accommodation facilitated by the employer is intended for a maximum period of three years (short-stay and mid-stay);
      2. Members actively inform labour migrants about the SNF complaints procedure;
      3. Members may charge labour migrants for the use of accommodation. These charges may not exceed the actual costs of the accommodation. Pursuant to the Labour Market Fraud (Bogus Schemes) Act, employees may deduct no more than 25% of the minimum wage of the employee for accommodation. If the employee wishes the costs of the accommodation to be deducted from his or her wages, the employee requests this of the employer via a written authorisation.
      4. In the event of premature loss of work, members offer migrant workers the option of renting the accommodation for a minimum of five more nights if they so wish. Members may derogate from this in a positive sense and allow labour migrants to rent for longer, where possible.
      5. In the event of local and regional shortages of accommodation for labour migrants, members ask government authorities and SNF accommodation parties to realise more housing.
      6. If required, members refer labour migrants to alternative accommodation channels for longstay accommodation in the region.
  7. Fines and compensation for damage: settlement of fines via the pay slip is permitted only in relation to judicial and administrative fines payable by the labour migrant. Settlement of other types of fines is not permitted. Labour migrants who cause damage to property of the employer or the landlord with malicious intent or through gross negligence may be held liable for the damage suffered. The compensation for damage may not exceed the actual costs of repair of the damaged object.

  8. Information: labour migrants are actively informed about working and living in the Netherlands before signing contracts and pre-contracts in the country of origin. Members and their recruitment agencies follow the guidelines of the enclosed ABU Fair Recruitment Charter for that purpose.

  9. Language and integration: members refer labour migrants to the possibilities available for following language courses via the municipal authority.

  10. Complaints: members offer labour migrants an opportunity to submit complaints to the member via an accessible complaints procedure. In the event of complaints concerning the application of the guidelines of this code and the accompanying Fair Recruitment Charter, labour migrants may also make use of the ABU complaints procedure.
Would you like to read more information about this code. Visit https://www.abu.nl/welcome/