Less agency work under new law

03/09/2001 10:00

Workers seconded through job agencies worked for nearly 364 million hours in the Netherlands last year. This is the equivalent of nearly 175 full-time jobs, 9 thousand fewer than in 1999.

Looking back, the number of hours worked by temporary agency staff fell continually between 1990 and 1993. This was followed by a steady increase and in 1998 these workers worked for a record 375 million hours, or 180 thousand full-time jobs.

Hours worked by agency workers, 1990-1998

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New legislation

A new law providing for job flexibility and security was introduced on 1 January 1999, creating a new situation for temporary agency staff. Under this law, workers employed via agencies can have one of two types of contract: a contract for the duration of a specified task (stages 1+2), or a contract for a definite or indefinite period of time (stages 3+4).

Workers employed under the first type of contract do not have a permanent appointment, those with a second type of contract do have such a permanent appointment or are officially seconded.

Agency sector in 2000

The 364 million agency hours in 2000 consist of 281 million hours for the duration of a specified task, and 83 million hours for definite or indefinite period of time.

Compared with 1999, the number of agency hours worked for the duration of a specified task fell by 43 million, the equivalent of 20 thousand full-time jobs. In the same year the contracts for a definite or indefinite period of time rose by 23 million hours, or 11 thousand full-time jobs. The number of these contracts rose continually every quarter from the beginning of 1999.

Hours worked by agency workers, 1999 and 2000

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Arjan Gras