Contingent Employment in Europe and the United States

Contingent Employment in Europe and the United States

Edited by Ola Bergström and Donald Storrie

Contingent Employment in Europe and the United States examines the developments in labour markets in advanced economies in the 21st century, as regards contingent employment. This is defined as employment relationships that can be terminated with minimal costs within a predetermined period of time. This includes fixed-term contracts, temporary agency work and self-employment. Contingent employment has been the subject of much legislative activity in the last decade, at both the national and European level. Temporary agency work, in particular, has recently been extensively deregulated in most European countries and currently we await the fate of a proposed EU directive on agency work. The book is therefore highly topical.

Chapter 8: Contingent employment in the Netherlands

Bas Koene, Ferrie Pot and Jaap Paauwe

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, social policy and sociology, labour policy


Bas Koene, Ferrie Pot and Jaap Paauwe INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the development of contingent employment in the Netherlands. Contingent employment is defined as any employment relationship that, within a limited period, can be terminated by the user organization without costs. In this definition, contingent employment includes agency workers, workers with limited duration contracts, on-call workers and self-employed that are hired by the work organization. The development of contingent employment in the Netherlands is interesting for several reasons. First, contingent employment in the Netherlands has a relatively long (legal) history. It was first legalized in 1965 under the Labour Provision Act.1 Secondly, the legal framework that has developed since then is the product of the cooperative effort of the Dutch government and the social partners and could be seen as the labour contract embodiment of the polder model. It has resulted in a quite innovative legislation governing contingent employment relationships in 1999, the Flexibility and Security Act. Thirdly, the market for contingent employment in the Netherlands grew significantly in the 1990s, resulting in a 4.5 per cent share in the Dutch labour market in 1999. Since 1999, this growth has stagnated. This chapter starts with a general description of developments in the Dutch labour market. The growth of contingent employment appears to be one of the primary trends. Subsequently, we describe the Dutch legal and institutional context. It can be argued that the legal and institutional changes of the recent past have been a response to...

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