New rules for flexible contracts and jobless benefit take shape

Plans to give new rights to workers on flexible and short-term contracts should come into practice in 2015, if draft legislation becomes law.

The government wants to ensure people on flexible contracts are given a permanent contract after two years rather than three as at present. The measure stems from the ‘social agreement‘ worked out between ministers, employers and unions earlier this year.

The draft legislation also includes changes to the redundancy rules in 2016.
They include giving all workers – including those on flexibile contracts – the right to some form of redundancy package after two years.


This money will be used to help the person find new work. No limit on the size of the package was mentioned in the weekend’s publication, but the social accord set a maximum €75,000.

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher also plans to leave the unemployment benefit system unchanged until 2016. From that date, it will be reduced in stages to a maximum two years. Unions and employers will be able to make up the one year that is being cut in individual sector pay and conditions deals.

The proposals have now been sent to the Council of State for its recommendations. Asscher hopes to present the draft legislation to parliament within three months.

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