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The effects of flexible working arrangements on young workers in the Netherlands

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The effects of flexible working arrangements on young workers in the Netherlands

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Samenvatting

This research was conducted as a response to the recent trend of flexibilization in the European labor market. Factors for its fast emergence include the increased international competition and the effects of the economic crisis in Europe. Young workers have become overrepresented in flexible jobs. The purpose of this research is to identify the expected effects of flexible working arrangements on the psychosocial risks to which young workers are exposed in the Netherlands. Besides, it brings forward a potential future scenario with regards to the current situation of young workers and their perceptions about work. As the European Union is facing a demographic shift, the support-ratio will increase and young workers will have to cope with more responsibilities in the future. The report sets out to answer the questions by providing clear definitions of the concepts. By means of analyzing secondary literature and surveys that were conducted on both European and Dutch levels, results were compared and enabled to draw solid conclusions.
The report shows that flexibility is a multidimensional concept which is mostly reflected in working contracts. It focuses on those working arrangements that are based on a fixed-term, in which the amount of hours and/or working place have not been specified. These contracts are likely to be associated with economic insecurity and a strain of work/life balance. Besides, flexible jobs are more likely to be categorized as precarious, rather than permanent jobs. It was found that an increasing number of young workers in the Netherlands and in the rest of the European Union report high levels of job insecurity and a negative employability. Furthermore, it appears that a large proportion of young workers suffer from work-related stress and regardless of their contracts, do not expect to be capable to work until a higher retirement age in the future.
The report concludes that the strengths and weaknesses of flexible working arrangements are correlated with each other. Yet, as flexibility shifts responsibilities and risks onto workers, flexible workers are more vulnerable. Job insecurity and a strain on work/life balance have an impact on psychosocial risks. As young workers are overrepresented in flexible jobs, they are, indeed, more likely to suffer from psychosocial complaints. If young workers are exposed to high psychosocial risks from a young age on, they might not be capable to work until a later retirement age, at least not to sufficiently bear with an increase support-ratio in the future. Therefore, this report recommends a general improvement of flexible work, by for instance, tackling the causes of psychosocial risks and by raising awareness on this issue. This might enable governments, employers and workers to maintain a sustainable workforce. Besides, due to a lack of data on for instance, undeclared work and internships, the issue may be more serious than the available data suggests it to be. It is therefore recommended to conduct more research on this issue.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
OpleidingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
AfdelingFaculteit Management & Organisatie
Jaar2015
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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