Workplace Report June 2007

European news

Dutch agency workers secure 3% and higher pensions contributions

Unions and the ABU employers' association, representing private employment agencies, have signed a deal which broadly matches inflation and improves pensions for long-term agency workers in the Netherlands.

The agreement, reached on 5 June, runs from 2 July 2007 until 29 March 2009. Pay rates rise by 3.0% over a 21-month period at a time when prices are increasing by 1.8% on an annual basis (May 2007).

The pension improvements cover those who have been employed by employment agencies for at least 18 months. Their pension contributions will go up to an average of 7.6% of pay, with two-thirds paid by the employer and a third paid by the employee; the precise contribution will vary according to age. For those who have been employed by agencies for between six and 18 months, the pensions contribution is unchanged at 2.6%, all of it paid by the employer.

The ABU represents 310 employment agencies and the deal covers some 700,000 employees. Around 60,000 of these have worked for agencies for more than 18 months. Marcel Nuyten of FNV Bondgenoten, one of the signatory unions, said he was "fully content with the agreement", particularly in the way it benefited long-term agency workers.