The 2023 annual report: practical accounts, focus on knowledge migrant scheme and accident investigations

Four Turkish truck drivers are brought to the Netherlands under false pretences. They were going to deliver relief supplies to an earthquake-stricken area in Turkey, but that shipment turned out to contain a concealment of drugs. The drivers do not dare to take any steps for fear of reprisals from the drugs circuit. They come into contact with inspectors and investigators from the Netherlands Labour Authority, who offer them the necessary protection. The investigation is started and in the meantime, the drivers are allowed to stay in the Netherlands.

This account and more can be found in the Netherlands Labour Authority's 2023 annual report which is published today.

Each year, the Netherlands Labour Authority includes its experiences in the annual report to show how the Authority monitors and enforces labour laws in daily practice. And in addition to the example of Turkish truck drivers, the annual report contains four more accounts (Dutch) that are fundamentally about fair, healthy and safe work and social security for everyone; the most important themes of the Netherlands Labour Authority.


In the annual report inspector general Rits de Boer reflects annually on a subject supervised by the Netherlands Labour Authority. This year, it's the knowledge migrant scheme (Dutch). Under this scheme, employers can attract employees from outside the European Union with specialist and high-quality knowledge in a simple and faster way. But in practice, inspectors from the Netherlands Labour Authority encounter knowledge migrants who are hairdressers, cable layers, catering employees, nail stylists and payrollers. And that is not what the knowledge migrant scheme is intended for.

'The name clearly indicates what the scheme aims to achieve, but not what the scheme does,' says Rits de Boer. 'The name is confusing because the scheme doesn't stipulate a criterion for knowledge. The scheme stipulates a minimum salary, not a minimum level of knowledge.'

Reflection 2023 Annual Report Netherlands Labour Authority


The original purpose of the scheme - encouraging labour migration - is outdated. According to the State Commission for Demographic Developments, moderate population growth is appropriate. Focus on the knowledge migrant scheme is therefore necessary to gain more control over knowledge migration. This limits the use of the scheme to companies with actual high-quality knowledge needs and at the same time reduces the possibilities for improper and fraudulent use.

Facts and figures

The annual report provides annual facts and figures about the Netherlands Labour Authority itself. As every year, attention is paid to the number of industrial accidents. In 2023, the Netherlands Labour Authority initiated 2,493 accident investigations. This number is slightly higher than in 2022. In 2023, 2,448 accident investigations were completed. That is slightly more (+7 per cent) than in 2022.

As in previous years, the absolute number of casualties of reported serious industrial accidents is highest in the industrial, construction and trade, transport and catering sectors. In 2023, industrial accidents led to 72 fatalities. The number of 72 fatalities from industrial accidents is slightly higher than in previous years. Most fatalities in 2023 occurred in the trade, transport and catering (21), industry (14) and construction (11) sectors. This is no different from previous years.

The Netherlands Labour Authority also looks at people's social security by investigating the functioning of the work and income system. In this case, the focus is on the effectiveness of the implementation of the work and income system. As in the investigation report on non-application of the Supplementary Benefits Act (Dutch).


The Investigation Service (Dutch) of the Netherlands Labour Authority, under the authority of the Public Prosecution Service (OM), conducts criminal investigations into criminal activities throughout the Authority's domain. This is outlined in the 2023 annual report. The Investigation Service will publish a more extensive annual report later this year.