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Netherlands – Temporary recruitment restrictions expected

27 August 2013

It is expected to be announced on 17 September, the Dutch Budget Day, that temporary employees will be offered a permanent contract after two years instead of three. The measure is reportedly intended to increase employee security but has been met with criticism from those inside the temporary recruitment industry.

One critic of the new scheme is Paul Haarhuis, the commercial director of temporary recruitment firm Timing. Writing in the Dutch financial daily newspaper, Financieel Dagblad, Mr Haarhuis stated that the government was acting on unfounded assumptions.

“Employees who otherwise were given a temporary contract for three years will get no extension after the second year, since permanent contracts are too great a risk for small business during [a] period of uncertainty,” Mr Haarhuis writes.

The anticipated change to existing legislations will be a further blow to the temporary staffing sector in the Netherlands which has struggled in recent years, with recruitment agencies reporting falling revenues and diminished billings. The most recent statistics released by the Dutch Federation of Employment Agencies (ABU) reports a -5% drop in the number of hours worked by temporary staff and a -2% drop in temporary staffing turnover.   

Staffing Industry Analysts forecasts a single digit decline for 2013 as a whole, which is predicated on the market improving in the second half of the year. 

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