The revamped Work and Security Act (WWZ), known as the flex act, was intended to enable employees to move on to permanent posts more quickly. In practice however, the new law is only increasing insecurity, a survey within Wageningen UR suggests.
According to the WWZ, employees should be offered a permanent post after three temporary contracts of two years (four for academic staff). But employers don’t always want or feel able to offer that. They may be unsure of their future funding, or they consider the period worked too short to be able to evaluate the expertise an employee has developed properly. So people end up losing their jobs, or only able to continue in them through ‘payrolling’ – an internal agency system.
In the opinion feature IMO on page 22, assistant professor Peter Tamas describes the situation as a kind of ‘ideological exploitation’. ‘Ambitious people are easy to exploit.’ Professor Hans Zuilhof is unhappy about the situation too, in his position as employer. He thinks the maximum period for which he is allowed to offer people temporary contracts is too short.
During the survey Resource spoke to various employees who are in the last stages of their temporary contracts and feeling very insecure. An energy-sapping position to be in, they tell us. However, not one of them wanted to write about it in Resource for fear of spoiling their own chances. They included men and women, staff of the university and affiliated institutes, Dutch and foreign workers.