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Netherlands – Council of State criticises government over planned temp reforms

25 April 2012

The Dutch Council of State has criticised the Government’s decision to reform regulations that could have temporary workers return to work faster after a period of sickness. The Council is the highest advisory body to the Dutch Government and also consists of members of the royal family.

Last week the Social Affairs Minister, Henk Kamp, argued that permanent workers already benefit from incentives that encourage them to return to work faster and similar initiatives should exist for temporary employees.

But the Council has now expressed doubts over these reforms although the number of temporary workers who have been off sick are alarmingly high.

The Council said that the UWV, an autonomous administrative authority commissioned to implement employee insurances, should receive more support in order to reintegrate temporary workers on the labour market. The Council also said that reforms could widen the perceived separation between temporary and permanent workers.

The Social Affairs Ministry wants temporary workers who have been off work for six months to become part of a scheme that will reassess their health at a faster pace to increase their participation on the job market. 

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