Polish community in NL works hard for low pay and wants to stay

Polish flag with coat of arms

Photo: Wikipedia

Some 75% of Polish nationals living in the Netherlands have a job but they are much more likely than the Dutch to have temporary or flexible contracts, work long hours and do basic manual labour, according to new research by the government’s socio-cultural think tank SCP.

Some 160,000 Polish nationals were registered as living in the Netherlands in 2017, making them the sixth biggest migrant group in the country, the SCP said. In addition, a further 90,000 come to the Netherlands periodically to do seasonal work.

The survey of 1,000 Polish nationals found three quarters expect to live in the Netherlands for at least the next five years and more than 50% of couples are raising children here.




In particular agriculture and greenhouse horticulture are heavily dependent on Polish workers, the SCP said.

Despite having jobs and working long hours, Polish nationals earn on average a third less than the Dutch and 17% live in poverty. However, just 1.8% are claiming welfare benefits, compared with 2.6% of the Dutch population as a whole.

The longer they live in the Netherlands, the better their prospects are, and 37% of older immigrants own their own home, the SCP said.

At the same time, Poles find it difficult to make contact with the Dutch and often feel that they are being treated as second-class citizens. The percentage who say they have been confronted with discrimination has risen from 38% in 2009 to 46% last year.

Despite this, they give their life here an average score of 7.1 out of 10.

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