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Six misconceptions about temporary work
According to the Job Applicant Confidence Index (JACI) of PageGroup, which measures sentiment on the labour market every quarter, more than two thirds of Dutch workers (67.2%) would consider temporary work, should it be available. Nevertheless, there are still many misconceptions about temporary work. We separate the facts from the fables.
1. Temporary work pays less than a permanent contract
The perception that temporary agency work pays less or provides less security is still held by many Dutch employees. Wrongly. A temporary employee receives the same salary as someone with a permanent contract. This is laid down in employment legislation: wages and allowances simply fall under the client's collective agreement. You therefore earn as much as permanent employees in the same job, and this is strictly monitored. Employers are often even willing to pay a little more for the flexibility they gain with a temporary worker.
2. As a temporary employee you have fewer rights
Many people think that you have fewer rights as a temporary employee than as a permanent employee. This includes rights such as holiday pay and sickness benefit. This is not true either: as a temporary employee, you are employed by the temporary employment agency and are entitled to the same rights as if you had a permanent contract. So you simply receive holiday pay every year and are entitled to sickness benefit if necessary.
3. As a temporary employee you do not build up a pension
This assumption can also be consigned to the realm of fables. Here too: you are employed by the temporary employment agency and the agency pays your pension premium, just as a regular employer would. So even as a temporary worker you are assured of a carefree old age.
4. As a temporary employee you are not good enough for a permanent job
Despite the stubborn prejudices outlined above, most Dutch people take a favourable view of temporary work. Whereas in other countries, such as Spain, there is sometimes the impression that temporary workers are not good enough for a permanent job, in the Netherlands it is sooner the case that we think that you are good enough precisely because you do temporary work: after all, you take the risk of making your living from temporary jobs, because you know that your qualities mean you will always get back to work. Temporary work therefore looks good on your CV. Also, employers have a growing need for temporary staff. This is due to the economic upturn and the increased supply of jobs. The combination of a tight labour market with high work pressure means that there is an growing need for flexible solutions in the short term. We are seeing the flexible shell of companies grow and temporary employment is becoming the rule rather than the exception.
5. Temporary work does not offer job security
Most people need income and career security. And 'temporary work' implies that you might end up without work after an assignment. Of course, that's the last thing anyone wants. In practice, however, the opposite often proves true: you are more likely to be employed as a temporary worker than if you have to look for a job yourself. Especially if you are an experienced worker. Temporary work provides many opportunities to develop yourself on a broader level in your field of expertise. When you work on different projects, you learn new skills and techniques that you can also use in your future career. Moreover, as a temporary employee you have a way in to companies you might otherwise find it difficult to gain access to. If there is a position that still exists after the expiry of your temporary contract, and the client is satisfied with you, your temporary appointment will in many cases even be converted into a permanent appointment.
6. Temporary work is only suitable as a side job
Temporary agency workers are only used for side jobs, such as shelf filling or serving customers, or for seasonal activities such as horticulture. This is a common cliché, but it is incorrect. A significant proportion of temporary workers have a higher level of education (bachelor's or master's) and companies recruit for a wide variety of projects and positions, up to management level. Of course there is a lot of temporary work for unskilled positions, but certainly not exclusively. And now that the labour market is under pressure, the supply of temporary work in the more specialised jobs is bound to increase.