Serious workplace abuse becomes punishable

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Effective date: not yet known

What changes?

Do you work with migrant workers? Criminalisation of labour exploitation will be expanded and made simpler. This will make it easier to detect and prosecute offenders. Victims of human trafficking and labour exploitation will thus be better protected.

Serious abuses in the workplace will become punishable. To this end, the new offence of 'serious disadvantage' will be included in the law. This ensures that employers are punishable if they abuse someone in a vulnerable position in the workplace.

In addition to abuse, there must be gross disadvantage such as:

Also, the possibilities to deal with offenders who benefit financially from human trafficking will increase. In addition, it will be described more clearly which behaviour is punishable.

Employers must check

Employers who hire people through an employment agency must check that the people that work for them are not exploited. They will also be punishable if this is the case.

For whom?

  • entrepreneurs employing staff


It is not yet known when this change in the Dutch Criminal Code will enter into effect.

You can give your opinion on this bill until 25 April 2023 (in Dutch).

Please note: The effective date of this measure is not yet final. Entry into force is subject to its passing through the upper and lower houses of parliament or proclamation of the Order in Council (Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur, AMvB) or ministerial decree and publication in the Staatsblad or Staatscourant (Government Gazette, in Dutch).

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO