New labour law plans won’t work, says government advisory body

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Draft legislation aimed at restoring the balance between permanent and flexible employment contracts will not tackle the problem, according to a review by the Council of State.

The council is the government’s most senior advisory body and advises on all draft legislation.

In its response, the council says the government’s plans are ‘inadequate’ and ‘could easily lead to new problems elsewhere in the labour market’.




Social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees says the new draft legislation will encourage companies to take on more permanent members of staff.

The number of people on flexible contracts has soared in recent years and the new government has pledged to tackle the differences between permanent and flexible employment contracts.

The aim of the legislation is to reduce the legal gap between working as an employee or as a temporary worker, Koolmees said at the plan’s presentation on Wednesday. To this end, the rules for sacking staff have been relaxed while the period temporary staff can work on short contracts will be extended from two to three years.

The changes to redundancy law will allow firms to sack staff after a string of minor misdemeanours rather than one major fail.

In addition, maximum trial period that a new employee can be required to work will go up from two to five months. Companies will also get a discount on unemployment benefit premiums if they take on permanent rather than temporary members of staff.

Fundamental

However, the council said it its recommendations that it will take a fundamental and broader approach to bridge the gap between temporary and permanent jobs.

This will require tackling ‘labour law, the social security system and tax system’, the council said.


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