Jobs market reforms will slow immigration, says minister

The government’s labour market reforms will act as a brake on labour migration, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said on Tuesday.

Asscher was reacting to a recent report by the government’s policy analysis unit WRR which stressed the importance of investing in the integration of eastern European nationals.

‘I support the WRR’s view that having fewer short-term contracts could act as a break on the arrival of labour migrants,’ Asscher is quoted as saying by In addition, the new form of flexible jobs would be more attractive to Dutch nationals, the minister said.


Asscher also said he is convinced ‘appropriate measures’ are necessary to avoid a repeat of earlier immigration history.

The minister is introducing a ‘participation declaration’ which all new arrivals, including those from EU countries, are to be asked to sign. A number of pilot projects are already under way.

Migrants are also to be given access to teach-yourself-Dutch programmes and loans to pay for Dutch classes.

Race to the bottom

‘I have said repeatedly that labour migration should not lead to a race to the bottom in terms of working conditions,’ he said.

‘The cabinet and local authorities are working on improvements to the registration of EU citizens and on providing information to EU migrants about suspect staffing agencies.’

The government’s labour market reforms involve giving more rights to temporary employees.

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