More action against discrimination in the Dutch labour market

December 6, 2018

On 22 November 2018, the State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment submitted an implementation plan to parliament to prevent labour market discrimination based on ethnicity, age or gender in the coming years. The plan elaborates on the anti-discrimination measures announced in the 2017 coalition agreement between the governing parties in the Netherlands.

A change in the Working Conditions Act will require employers to include anti-discrimination provisions in their recruitment and selection policies. Failing that, employers risk a fine by the Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate. Under current law, the Inspectorate can take action in cases of discrimination on the work floor, but the proposed change will enable it to intervene in the recruitment process as well. An investigation into how the Inspectorate can take action against temporary employment agencies is still ongoing. Although temporary employment agencies are already obliged to have anti-discrimination policies in place, research has shown that the compliance with these policies is barely monitored.

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