Tuesday 15 June 2021

SER calls for end to zero hour contracts, licences for staffing agencies

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Unions and employers have reached agreement on reforming the labour market to give more security to staffing agency workers and freelancers.

The recommendations, made by the government’s advisory committee SER and aimed at the incoming government, say that zero hour contracts should be abolished and people should only be able to work for three years for the same employer on a temporary contract.

In addition, SER says, the minimum wage should be increased in line with social security benefits and payrolling constructions should also be outlawed. The agency also says staffing agencies should be licenced and strictly monitored to prevent workers being exploited.

The changes are necessary to tackle the social unease and increasing inequality between population groups. And in particular, the new cabinet should invest in job and income security, strong public services and a sustainable living environment, SER says.

The Netherlands is a fortunate and prosperous country but there are tensions and many people feel they are losing their grip on their future and their living situation, SER said. At the same time, the Netherlands is on the verge of major changes, such as the shift towards renewable energy, digitalization and an increasingly elderly population.

‘These fundamental changes will ask a lot of our ability to adapt,’ SER said.

SER is made up of union, employer and lay members and advises the government on a wide range of social and economic issues.

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