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Storm around temp agency Adecco in Norway

OSLO, March 3, 2011 – The world\’s biggest temporary staffing agency Adecco promised Thursday to clean house at its Norwegian unit, which is facing allegations of multiple violations of the Scandinavian country\’s labour laws.

Several Norwegian municipalities have recently opted not to renew their contracts with the health branch of Adecco Norway following media reports at the end of February alleging numerous cases of illegal working conditions.

Following the reports, Adecco Norway acknowledged breaches of the country\’s labour laws in health care centres, some of which have dropped their contracts with the Swiss firm.

"Our management, our top management, was not aware of it. The people who are involved and that were aware of it, we let go," Adecco\’s chief executive Patrick de Maeseneire was quoted as saying by public broadcaster NRK.

With local elections in September, the case has taken on political tones in Norway where the left and right disagree on how are private companies should be allowed to provide healthcare.

Norway\’s Labour Inspection Authority has asked police to open an investigation into the case and Adecco Norway\’s healthcare unit chief Baard Kristiansen has stepped down.

The scandal erupted as Adecco on Thursday reported soaring results in 2010, with a net profit of 423 million euros ($587) up from just eight million euros a year earlier.

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