More than half migrant workers not registered as living in Netherlands
More than half of the 500 thousand migrant workers in the Netherlands have not registered with a municipality in the country, the investigation journalism platform Investico reported. That results in them being unable to register for a Covid-19 vaccine, buy a car or sign up for social housing, among other things.
Everyone staying in the country for more than four months is legally required to register with the municipality they are residing in. However, many of these people are often unaware of the obligation. Registration is also discouraged by the municipality itself, according to Investico.
Without registration in the Personal Records Database (BRP) which is handled at a municipal level, foreign workers face the danger of losing their health insurance if they lose their job. They have little access to social assistance such as shelters or food banks. Furthermore, their children are also not eligible to receive extra Dutch language lessons.
At Otto Workforce, the largest employment agency for foreign workers, nearly 15,000 employees worked longer than four months between mid-2019 and the end of 2020, and many remained unregistered, Investico wrote. That is in line with the findings of previous research based on data from employee benefits agency UWV that suggested that 250,000 unregistered foreign workers accounted for almost half of the country’s total.
On Monday it was reported that hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who live in the Netherlands were not eligible to get vaccinated against Covid 19, even though many were paying their mandatory health insurance fees.
Medical care professionals explained that migrant workers should be vaccinated against Covid-19, especially because they often live in shared housing and are therefore at higher risk of contracting the virus, or passing on mutations of the virus.
“The objective should simply be to vaccinate everyone in the Netherlands who wants to be vaccinated," virologist at the University Medical Center Groningen Bert Niesters concluded.