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Netherlands – Flexible workers on the rise

20 May 2013

The share of workers with a flexible employment contract in the Dutch labour force has risen from 12% in 2001 to 16% in 2012, according to official data by the country’s statistics office, CBS. The increase was caused by the larger share of employees with a temporary contract and the prospect of a permanent contract and stand-by workers. In the period, the number of self-employed people without employees rose from 7% to 10%.

The statistics office said that employees with flexible employment contracts are more likely to become unemployed or inactive and change employers more frequently than those with a permanent contract.

Job security varies between those on flexible contracts. Only 12% of employees with a temporary contract and the prospect of a permanent contract became unemployed or inactive between 2011 and 2012 while 15% moved to another employer. One year later, nearly half had a permanent contract with the same employer.

Meanwhile one third of stand-by workers became unemployed or no longer worked while one in five worked for a new employer. But at the same time, one in eight stand-by workers worked in the same job continuously in the period 2007-2010.

“Employees with flexible terms of employment not only have to contend with lower job security, they also often experience high work pressure and little autonomy in their work. As a result, they have higher health risks and lower availability rates than employees with a permanent position. Moreover, employees with a flexible contract have fewer opportunities for training and personal development,” the CBS said.

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