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Government proposals for (restricting) labour migration

The outgoing cabinet has recently discussed the control over migration. Labour migration was also discussed here. However, no agreement was reached on migration. Nevertheless, the cabinet was called on by Parliament member Omtzigt to further develop the measures regarding labour migration.

A number of proposals have been made for measures regarding the regulation of labour migration. The following proposals discussed in the conversations are interesting for our field:

  • Focusing on the highly skilled migrant scheme, examining the desirability of setting training requirements or tightening the salary criterion, especially for highly skilled migrants under the age of 30.

Within the highly skilled migrant scheme, only a salary criterion is used while qualifications are not tested. This makes it unclear whether labour migrants who are attracted indeed make an important contribution to the Dutch knowledge economy. The salary thrshold for highly skilled migrants under 30 (€ 3,672 gross per month) is substantially lower than for highly skilled migrants over 30 (€ 5,008 gross per month). There is also a reduced criterion for graduates who use an orientation year of € 2,631. This means that a relatively large group is eligible for the highly skilled migrant scheme. To limit this more, the salary threshold for the three different groups can be increased and it can also be decided to convert the three different criteria into one higher uniform salary threshold.

  • Keeping highly skilled migrants, who are already in the Netherlands and who make a valuable contribution to our country, more often by extending the search period from three to six months in the event of premature termination of their contract.

A longer search period increases the chance that highly skilled migrants will be retained in the Netherlands. This fits in with the inviting policy of the Netherlands.

  • A pilot for a temporary skilled worker scheme under strict conditions to alleviate the labour market shortage in the technology sector in the short term with skilled workers from third countries

This scheme can make it easier to recruit skilled workers from third countries who do not earn enough to fall under the highly skilled migrant scheme. This can help to alleviate the shortage in the technology sector. The responsibility for attracting the migrant and the return policy lies with the employer.

  • Expanding the capacity of the Dutch Labor Inspectorate (NLA) for enforcement.

The cabinet is talking about expanding enforcement in the area of ​​labour exploitation.

  • Discussing the use of sham constructions and improper use, through which European labour migrants or labour migrants from outside the EU are posted to the Netherlands via other EU member states, and the consequences thereof, in a European context

More and more, secondment agencies ensure that employees from third countries receive a work permit in other EU member states and that they are then seconded to the Netherlands (under the EU free movement of services). National legislation for the entry of third-country nationals is thus circumvented. Abuses can be countered with better enforcement of sham constructions. For this more European cooperation in enforcement is necessary, due to complex cross-border detachment.