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Many do not get what they are entitled to

Temp agencies Temporary work and temporary employment prompt union officers to warn members to pay particular attention to whether the collective agreement is being respected
Tomasz Tomczyk BJMF Immi

By: Anne Mette Omø Carlsen. Photo: Private

Once again, there are problems with a temporary agency that does not comply with the rules. In recent years, there have been many cases about temporary agency companies, this time it is the worldwide temporary agency company Adecco that has to pay compensation.

The Polish subway worker and BJMF member Tomasz Tomczuk addresses the union and has all his employment papers reviewed.

- We discover that the member has had 16 affiliation agreements in 1½ years. That means 16 temporary jobs in a row on the same construction site. The BJMF sends an email to the company and demands all the documents to be handed over, and begins to review the case, says Mogens Larsen, who also says that everyone has the right to have all material handed over that current and former employers are holding. Indtast tekst

Rules for termination not complied with

The union discovers a large number of errors in Tomasz's pay slips, among other things there is no travel allowance, but it is especially the relationship around the many temporary appointments that the union officer is concerned about.

- The temporary work area is really complicated to find out, and many therefore do not get what they are entitled to according to the collective agreement. I rarely find that temp agencies pay correctly when I get timesheets and payslips handed in for review, says Mogens Larsen.

In the case of the Polish concrete worker, the termination provisions were not respected.

- The member has been employed 16 times within a year and a half with an end date, i.e. 16 short-term employments. In total, he has been employed by Adecco for a year and a half. When we had a mediation meeting between BJMF and Adecco, Dansk Industri rejects that the temp agency has circumvented the provisions on termination in the collective agreement, and only because BJMF insists on a subsequent joint meeting and requests professional arbitration, Adecco pays the member compensation for lack of notice of termination, says Mogens Larsen.

The Construction and Civil Engineering Agreement states, among other things, that an employee after 1 year of employment has 3 weeks' notice of termination.

-Companies cannot simply circumvent the collective agreement because they make temporary hires with an end date, as Adecco is trying here. The worker has right to have their seniority, and unemployment fund employees must also be aware of whether the member has been employed for more than a year when they come and register as unemployed, says Mogens.

Because the union was aware in the case about Tomasz, he ended up getting compensation of DKK 27,000, which corresponds to the three weeks' notice. He also received his travel allowance for the period as required, DKK 27,004.12.

Get help understanding the rules

- A case like this is only the tip of the iceberg. Danish Industry says that the collective agreement does not suit the temporary agency industry, I say that if temporary agencies want to supply people for construction, the union must teach them that the collective agreement is not merely a set of suggestions, says Mogens.

It is the union's Polish interpreter, Katarzyna Szczygiel, who initially wonders about Tomasz's employment conditions, and turns to the her colleagues. In her work as an interpreter, Katarzyna meets many Polish workers who are in difficult situations and find it difficult to understand the rules.

- Many do not know the Danish model, do not know about collective agreements, and often rely too much on what the employer says. That's why I recommend joining BJMF as soon as they start work in the construction industry. Contact the union, where there is an option for an interpreter if you don't speak Danish, says Katarzyna.

Katarzyna also encourages you to send your contract to the union as soon as you receive it. The staff will then check it and explain the rules. There is also the option of signing up for free Danish lessons at BJMF, and a free course in the Danish model in Polish.