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Netherlands – Temps want more money and job security

12 March 2012

Ahead of Wednesday’s collective bargaining round for temporary workers, a new study has shown that temporary workers want to earn the same as permanent employees. Equal pay should be the most important issue, respondents indicated in a study carried out by FNV, the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions.

However, there is more to it than pay as those surveyed also highlighted another important issue when it comes to equal treatment: sick leave. Temporary staff are currently not paid when they call in sick whereas permanent employees are.

Mariette Patijn, director at FNV, said that current regulation on sick leave makes temporary workers feel like “second-class employees” and pointed out that the labour market was in real need of temporary workers.

However, temporary workers still earn less than their permanent colleagues according to 70% of respondents. This is mainly due to the fact that temporary employees do not get bonuses although many feel that they are entitled to them. Ms Patijn said, "Our commitment in the new collective agreement therefore is to [ensure that] temporary workers get the same benefits as permanent employees in a company.”

More temporary workers also want more job security as 75% of those surveyed said that they would prefer a permanent contract with the company they work for or at least with the employment agency that hires them. But many are realistic that the chances of this happening are low as 64% believe they will never get a permanent contract.

Ms Patijn commented that "People want a permanent job because of the security it provides. But the path to that coveted permanent contract is sometimes long.” She urged employment agencies to do more as, she said, “they really know what to change.”

The survey was carried out nationally and over 1,300 temporary workers were asked their opinion regarding temporary work in the Netherlands.  

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