Dutch Cabinet wants to restrict temporary work contracts
The Dutch government wants to restrict temporary work contracts by extending the period during which employers can’t offer such contracts. Currently, employers have to wait six months between a series of temporary contracts. The government wants to make that five years, the Volkskrant reports based on a draft letter from Minister Karien van Gennip of Social Affairs and Employment about her plans for the labor market.
The Minister is stepping up the fight against revolving door constructions “in order to increase the prospect of a permanent contract for employees.” Currently, a person can serve up to three temporary contracts at a business in three years. If, after the waiting period of six months, the person gets another temporary contract, Van Gennip considers it a “revolving door construction.” She wants to stop this with a waiting period of five years.
The government also wants to offer on-call workers more certainty. Van Gennip will replace on-call contracts with a “basic contract,” which stipulates the minimum number of hours to be worked, the income, and the maximum number of hours the worker can be deployed. Outside the predetermined hours, the worker can refuse a call to come to work.
Van Gennip also wants to set up a scheme for companies that run into problems due to unforeseen circumstances. If the entire company has at least 20 percent less work, it can appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Act without affecting employees’ unemployment benefits. The scheme will apply to “small-scale calamities” and “major crises like the Covid-19 pandemic” and replaces the current work time reduction scheme.
The government also plans to tighten up controls on self-employed persons and impose a minimum hourly rate they must charge. “The rate limit for this is yet to be determined,” Van Gennip said. She is thinking between 30 and 35 euros. “This strengthens the position of workers with a weaker bargaining position.”
Van Gennip will submit legislative proposals to put her plans into effect before the end of this year, according to the newspaper.