[Press Release] Employers break rules on non-EU students

Official press release
A Labour Inspectorate report has revealed that many of the Dutch businesses investigated in 2010 on suspicion of fraud were employing non-EU students illegally.

Irregularities were found in 71% of 170 cases investigated, most of which involved the illegal employment of students from outside the EU - mainly China and Nepal. The resulting 149 fines issued by the Labour Inspectorate totalled 2,7 million euros.

A total of 204 students were found to be illegally employed. Their employer had either not obtained an employment permit or had contravened the associated conditions, such as the maximum working hours allowed. Non-EU students need a residence permit in order to study in the Netherlands, and a prospective employer must apply for an employment permit for them. This allows an individual student to be employed for a maximum of ten hours per week, or full time in June, July and August.

The Labour Inspectorate discovered many of the irregularities by comparing data from the Employee Insurance Agency Employment Service (UWV Werkbedrijf) and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). Their joint efforts make targeted inspections possible.

In practice, employers and students are often unaware of the rules. To rectify the situation, an information campaign will be launched this month for employers in the sectors that tend to be popular with students, such as retail and catering.

In addition, the Labour Inspectorate, Employee Insurance Agency Employment Service and IND will issue special information for students through Dutch higher education institutions, in addition to the regular publicity put out by these institutions, the IND and Nuffic, the higher education and research organisation.

The Labour Inspectorate is continuing to check employers. It wants to halve the percentage of illegally employed students by 2012, notably through its information campaign.

Source: Government of the Netherlands



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