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Netherlands – More protection for flexworkers

04 December 2012

The government has decided that so-called flex workers will be entitled to the statutory minimum wage to prevent abuses in the labour market. Flex workers, which includes temporary and fixed-term workers, should be granted the minimum pay. However, self-employed people and freelancers are not covered by this new piece of legislation.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment said that this new rule will apply to workers who are working on assignment agreements/contracts (opdrachtovereenkomst), known as an ovo.

Most workers using such contracts can be found in the construction industry, but many also work as postmen. Although in theory these workers should be entitled to the minimum wage, there have been loopholes allowing people to prevent paying the minimum wage. With this new bill, this will no longer be possible.

The government said that the new bill will start a discussion on the general status of flex workers. The Dutch labour market is one of the most flexible in Europe and official figures this year showed that almost one in five employees worked on a temporary contract in 2011.

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