Vulnerable groups most likely to lose their job in coronavirus crisis: planning office

Ethnically diverse people, people with low education levels, and people with an occupational disability are more likely to lose their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis, according to social and cultural planning agency SCP. This is because they more often have flexible contracts and work in sectors that were hit hard by the crisis, such as the catering industry and travel industry, NOS reports.

The SCP stressed the importance of making sure people in these already vulnerable groups find new work quickly, for example through retraining. Otherwise they risk falling into long-term poverty. If people live in poverty for more than a year, the chance that they will ever get out again decreases significantly, the advisory body said.

People who relatively recently immigrated to the Netherlands from a non-Western country are clearly more likely to work with flexible contracts, the SCP said. They are also more likely than average to work in sectors that are currently vulnerable. 14.3 percent of first generation and 12 percent of second generation immigrants from non-Western countries with flexible contracts currently work in a sector where shrinkage is expected, compared to 4.6 percent of immigrants from Western countries, the SCP said.

People with an occupational disability are often in the same situation. 15.7 percent of people in this group have a flexible contract in a shrinking sector, compared to 6 percent of the total number of employees.

According to SCP, retraining is vital at this time, but organizations struggling to survive a crisis are less inclined to invest in redundant personnel. The cabinet made retraining staff a condition for coronavirus business support, but according to the advisory agency, this 'making an effort obligation' is often non-committal for employers. The SCP also stressed that regional policy is needed, as there are large differences in the labor market per region.