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Companies in Belgium are still cautious when it comes to temporary staffing as third-quarter employment prospects show little employer confidence, new research suggests. This comes after May’s figures which indicated that temporary agency work was still in decline in the month, unable to reach the levels from a year ago.
And according to a new staffing barometer, HR managers expect the downward trend to continue into the third quarter this year. When compared to the third quarter of 2011, almost 40% of those surveyed expect agency work to decline with around 20% forecasting an increase in temporary employment. A large part though, 40.5%, said they expected the use of agency workers to remain stable in their own companies.
The study also looked at the use of students as temporary workers. A quarter of those surveyed expect that the demand for students, who traditionally fill temporary roles in the summer, to fall while only 13% predicting an increase. The remainder, around 63%, do not expect a change in the employment of students in the summer. Belgium has recently introduced a new legislation which allows students to work 50 days per year and almost a fifth (17%) of those questioned believe this will lead to increased levels of employment while the majority (76%) said this will have no impact on temporary staffing.
The findings are part of a joint study by the Belgian private employment association, Federgon, and market researcher, LimaFin, who have interviewed over 430 HR directors and CEOs of companies which regularly use temporary agency work in June. The study aims to monitor the use of agency workers and forecast potential growth for the Belgian staffing market and the general economic market.