Case NL01 : 10.000 euro awarded for unpaid wages

compensation awardedA man was exploited by an employer in a shop in the Netherlands. He had to work 10-12 hours a day, he could not sit during that time and was paid around €10 per day. He lived above the shop in poor conditions with no mattress and hot water. He was undocumented and had no contract, and he had nowhere to go. If he complained about his work situation, he would be told to hand in the key to the shop and sleep on the streets.

At some point he managed to exit this situation and file a complaint. He was recognised as a victim of trafficking and referred for support. However, the case was prosecuted as one of irregular employment, not human trafficking. With the assistance of a lawyer, he filed a civil claim for compensation under labour law, he was awarded and paid compensation amounting to about €10,000.

Among the factors contributing to the successful claim, was the good cooperation established between the lawyer, the prosecutor, the police and the victim support organization which helped in collecting evidence from the criminal proceedings for use in the civil action, for example with regard to establishing the employment relationship.