Flexible working

The term flexible working, or ‘flexwerk’, is used in the Netherlands to mean work that is carried out under a flexible employment contract. In this type of employment contract, the employee and the employer make agreements about flexible work hours and work location, depending on the employer's need for employees.

Examples of flexible workers:

  • Temporary employees: a temporary or interim employee employed by a temporary employment agency, and is sent to companies by that agency to carry out work.

  • Seasonal workers: a seasonal worker is someone who carries out work that is only available in certain seasons, for example in agriculture or the catering industry.

  • Employees with a zero-hour contract: an employment contract between an employer and an employee based on which the employee can be called into work on a flexible basis as demand dictates. There is no guarantee of permanent or even a minimum number of hours' work. Flexible work is very common in the Netherlands.

More than a third of employees work on a flexible basis, a quarter of which work under a temporary contract or a temporary employment contract. Temporary employment agencies play a key role in matching supply and demand. The video ‘Working in the Netherlands’ shows how temporary employment is arranged in the country.