Quality of work, effects and measures in the Netherlands

The OSH Balance (occupational safety and health) provides an overview of the
current position and developments relating to working conditions in the
Netherlands. Particular attention is being focused this year on the themes of
new ways of working, sustainable deployment, health and safety in the
workplace, and lifestyle. The general picture from the OSH Balance is a
positive one.

The general picture from the OSH Balance is a positive one. The most important
findings from the report are:

  • Working conditions in the Netherlands are good. The quality of work is stable, and most employees are satisfied with their working conditions.

  • Employees are returning to work more quickly after being off sick: the rate of sickness-related absenteeism is falling as a result of a decline in the average duration of absence.

  • Work-related pressure and stress are, in the opinion of employees, causing a great deal of work-related absence; they also believe that employers do not take sufficient measures for dealing with this.

  • Flexible working is on the rise: one out of five employees has a flexible contract and it is becoming gradually less common for employees to have a fixed place of work or fixed working hours. The Netherlands, together with Sweden and Denmark, is among the frontrunners in Europe when it comes to non-location based work.

  • Work that is non-time or non-location based is more closely associated with more overtime, greater pressure of time and more tasks, but also with more autonomy and more challenging work. Non-time and non-location related work has no bearing on the health or performance of employees.

  • The percentage of employees who would like and are able to work until the age of 65 has doubled in four years, though this is less pronounced among employees at the 'bottom' end of the labour market.

  • Not being willing or able to work till the retirement age is associated with greater physical and ergonomic burdens, as well as with psychosocial and emotional strain. A high degree of autonomy, such as that found with non-time and non-location based work, could be an important precondition for having employees work longer.

  • Employers mostly use external occupational health and safety service providers. The expansion of the range of products provided by these services has not led to an increase in the purchase of their health and safety care services Employers mostly use the health and safety services that they are legally obliged to, an area that shows a decrease.

  • Many employees have an unhealthy lifestyle; this is especially commonplace in the transport and communications industries, and the construction industry.

  • The effects of an unhealthy lifestyle are also visible on the work floor. Employees with an unhealthy lifestyle have more accidents and are absent more.

More info - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work