Manifesto: Towards a new Dutch Design for flexible and secure work

2012 – The Manifesto ‘Naar een nieuw Dutch Design voor flexibel én zeker werk’   (‘Towards a new Dutch Design for flexible and secure employment’) is a report and a further elaboration of the discussion and the ideas of about a hundred people who met during one day on May 31, 2012. They talked about how flexibility and security are realized in practice since the introduction in 1999 of the Wet Flexibiliteit en Zekerheid  (Flexibility and Security Act) and what to improve herein.

Three principals have been formulated to assess the practice and to devise alternatives where necessary:
• No trade-off between flexibility on the one hand and on the other productivity, quality and innovation.
• No dual labor market but further emancipation and empowerment of working people.
• No unnecessary complexity, ambiguity and barriers.

Developments in 15 years
The analysis of the practice of 15 years delivered a number of significant developments. Such as for example:
• One  third of workers in the Netherlands can be counted to the flex-circle around companies.
• Young people get  almost exclusively a temporary contract (at first ).
• The number of self-employed has grown .
• New flex forms have emerged such as payrolling, contracting and various constructions to employ workers from abroad.
• The flow from a flexible to a fixed contract declined.
• Flexible workers get paid up to 30 % less.

Need to redesign
Testing the developments in practice to the principals, the group comes to proposals for redesign regarding: employment contracts, training and development and social security.

As renewal of labor contracts is particularly suggested to review the continued payment of wages when the employee is sick for more than a year or disabled and payroll constructions in which the collective agreement is avoided. People with a fixed-term contract should have better access to training and to ‘work – to – work’  facilities.

Proposed is a new model of learning relationships between workers and employers/clients, whose elements are: use performance indicators for development agreed upon in a dialogue between worker  and employer/client and the presence of a ‘facilitator’ assisting both parties to fill the learning relationship.

Examples of concrete suggestions regarding social security are: allow flexible workers under the cao (collective labour agreement) by broadening the workers definition, abolish the minimum wage for youngsters, make it possible to convert holidays for other purposes, limit extra fees to the night shift, abolish the distinction between school and child care.

In sum, the manifesto looks for changes that make the ‘fixed’ contract more attractive for employers and on the other hand not reduce or just prohibit sustainable and mature forms of flexible or ‘different’ work.

Wilthagen, Ton ; Verhulp, Evert; Gonggrijp Linde; Dekker, Ronald; Meer, Marc van der, a.o. (November 29th, 2012) Naar een nieuw Dutch Design voor flexibel én zeker werk.  (Towards  a new Dutch Design for flexible and secure employment).  (For the text of the manifesto in Dutch, see the Annex.)

Topics : Employment Relations, Flexible organization
Sector : not specific
Source: Article/declaration