Certain cases submitted to ITEM cannot be resolved through creative legal interpretation, our contacts with the relevant governmental authorities or other forms of collaborative efforts. Whereas every attempt will always be made to resolve the issue amicably, in specific instances this may not be sufficient.
Where the issues at stake are considered to be of particularly fundamental importance, potentially affecting a large group of people, and relate to cross-border cooperation and/or mobility, ITEM will where necessary provide assistance to individuals seeking to start legal proceedings.
The overarching aim of these test cases is to seek to resolution both of the individual problem as well as to promote a lasting change in the legal framework governing similar cases.
This is the description and progress of our DigiD test cases.
Erzieher – Childcare Workers – Test case
The professionals in this test case were qualified childcare workers in the Netherlands who wanted to access the North Rhine-Westphalian labour market to work as Erzieher/in. However, their application for recognition was rejected. The main issue for this was the existence of substantial differences in education and training between the Dutch and German childcare workers which resulted in extensive compensation measures. Because the imposed compensation measures could impede cross-border mobility, several parties, including ITEM and the Service Grensoverschrijdende Arbeidsbemiddeling (SGA), started a complaint procedure. In this procedure, it was questioned why the possibility of partial access was not made available for the Dutch childcare workers as a solution to deal with the differences in education and training between the Netherlands and Germany. The latest message received in the case confirmed that the possibility of partial access was made available for individuals wanting to work as childcare workers in North Rhine Westphalia (i.e. access part of the Erzieher/in profession). In the present case, application of this principle means that any person who is fully qualified in the Netherlands to work in childcare is able to work as Erzieher/in only in childcare in North Rhine-Westphalia. Nevertheless, before partial access can be granted professionals must provide proof of their language skills to actually gain access to the profession.