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Employers are extremely worried about new laws on sick pay aimed at giving more rights to people on flexible contracts, according to the Dutch Federation of Employment Agencies (ABU). Companies that employ large numbers of workers on flexible contracts are worried they will be saddled with large bills if their temporary worker become ill, reports Dutch News.
As explained by ABU, companies that use temporary workers through a recruitment agency are not liable to pay for sick pay or illness benefit if the worker becomes ill and cannot fulfil their contract. The responsibility under those circumstances falls to the recruitment firm.
However, if a company hires a temporary worker direct, and not via an intermediary, or uses zero-hours contract workers, it will become responsible for the payment of sick pay and illness benefits. The new legislation, which will be back-dated to January 2012, will require employers to pay temporary staff sick pay for two years, even if the contract was not of a duration of two years, followed by a maximum eight years in further benefits.
Employers' organisations had campaigned hard against the new rules. ABU warned that employers will now be less likely to take on older temporary staff or people with a poor health record.