Dutch translation of article of 13 April 2013in de Volkskrant, a renowned Dutch national newspaper, Translated by Nienke Groenendijk-Feenstra
The Dutch association of airline pilots VNV-DALPA knows of at least one case of a house search with a Ryanair pilot in the Netherlands. The pilot union suspects this house search has been performed at the request of the German fiscal authorities. President Evert van Zwoltold the ANP that there have been more cases in Germany.
According to VNV, these house searches have been ‘fairly recent’ and concern Ryanair employees for whom supposedly no taxes and social premiums have been paid. More countries are investigating the practices of this low-cost airline. ‘It appears to be a pattern’ van Zwol says.
Pilots and other employees usually do not enter employment with this airline, but work as freelancers. The contracts with Ryanair are drawn up in a manner that often makes it unclear who is responsible for the payment of taxes and social premiums.
The fiscal regulations that pilots and cabin attendants have to deal with largely differ per country. Therefore employees know very little about them when they have to sign the agreement. Moreover, in the present labour market they often have no choice except agreeing with what Ryanair offers. Van Zwol believes this airline skilfully profits of this situation.
VNZ shares the concerns expressed this week by the Ryanair pilot association RPG. ‘Ryanair pilots shouldn’t have to worry about raids in their homes when they are responsible for the safety and lives of millions of passengers. The Dutch association of airline pilots finds this ‘take it or leave it’ approach unacceptable’.
Amongst others in Italy an ongoing investigation has resulted in large retrospective collections of taxes. This week, Norway has also announced it is investigating the state of affairs, as a result of complaints by fired employees that accused Ryanair of imposing ‘slavery contracts’.