FairWork secures backpay for undocumented worker

Our Dutch member FairWork successfully negotiated for an employer to pay the back wages owed to an undocumented Brazilian construction worker.

João had been living without documents in the Netherlands since 2020 and working in the informal sector. In May 2023 he started working at a construction site at the recommendation of a friend. He worked in Amsterdam and neighbouring cities and earned €20 per hour. A colleague of his was sending the invoices to the boss in João’s name.

Things were going well for a couple of weeks but then the boss stopped paying the invoices. The boss still owed João more than €4,000 but had blocked his phone number with no explanation.

At João’s request, FairWork contacted the boss. The organisation explained to him that all workers are entitled to their pay, even if they are undocumented and asked him to pay João the promised salary. In the end, the boss paid what was owed to John.

Workers who are not receiving their promised wages in the Netherlands can receive advice from FairWork by contacting them here.