THE INTENT OF THE DRAFT LEGISLATION
The faction of the National Alliance along with the other members of Parliament who support the initiative draft legislation on the eliminating the abuse of the Short Term Contracts, are very happy with the public interest this topic has generated since the draft law was presented to Parliament and the public debate that is taking place on this topic primarily in the newspapers.
The initiative-takers welcome very much this interest and the debate and is following these discussions with keen interest and would like for this level of interest to continue on this draft as well as on other topics that are in parliament for debate and decision making.
The faction and the initiators of the law are nevertheless of the opinion that we must remain focused on the main intent of the draft and that proper and factual information must be given to the public instead of personal and or emotional opinions.
The proper legal research has taken place prior to embarking on submitting this draft legislation as to what the actual intent of the changes were when the Federal ordinance to make the labor laws flexible was in-acted by the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles in the year 2000. (PB 2000 no. 68)
The initiators maintain that it is not the intention to eliminate the use of Short Term Contracts as provided for in the labor laws, but rather to eliminate the abuse of it or limit to a minimum the abuse of the use of short term labor contracts, by having employees working in the same job for the same company for many years, sometime more than 10 years without these employees ever becoming permanent.
On page 3 of the Explanatory Notes to the law (PB 2000 no 68) the law making makes it abundantly clear that the above described scenario whereby the employee is constantly kept on a short term contract for a definite period of time thereby denying him or her the dismissal protection that is offered for a contract for an indefinite period of time is unacceptable.
The law maker also states here emphatically that employees that are performing structural duties for the same employer over a long period of time have to become permanently employed with the employer. The draft changes to the Civil Code will provide for this.
On page 4 it is clear that the intent of the law maker at the time was to eliminate the abuse of labor contracts for a definite period of time, and in order to achieve this the law maker choose to adopt the regulations that were taken up in the Dutch Civil Code in 1999. In order to make it more difficult for the employer to send home workers for 31 days and then bring them back in, the law maker increased the period from 31 days to 3 months. Unfortunately this regulation did not lead to stopping the abuse as the abuse still continues up to today.
The use of the Employment Agencies now makes it easier for employers to abuse employees on short term contracts, as these agencies can supply the required number of employees to the employer who constantly keeps sending home employees who are to become permanent replacing them by employees supplied by the employment agencies. A short term contract can be renewed or extended for 3 consecutive times, if it is extended for the fourth time within a period of 3 months the employee will become permanent. After extending a short term contract for the third time at the end of that period the employer has 2 options.
The employer can decide not extend the contract in which case the employee will be out of a job without any job protection whatsoever. Legally a notice of termination is not even required in this situation. The employer can also send the employee home for a period of more than 3 months, recruit a worker from an employment agency to fill the job position for that period of time, and after that period re-hire the employee that was sent home for more than 3 months and re-start the cycle all over again and again.
By doing this the employees that become a victim to such practices never will become permanent, does not have any job security and can be dismissed easily without any adequate protection provided for by the law. By doing this the employee can never receive the required bank financing to establish him or herself by purchasing a piece of real estate property, or to build or buy a home or a establish a business.
This is the abuse that the initiators wish to stop or eliminate by introducing the amendment to the article 1615fa of the Civil Code. This amendment will give the workers the protection that was intended in 2000 when the changes were made to make the labor laws more flexible.
The initiators are of the opinion that such abuse must be halted immediately, it was allowed to exist for too long already and it must be stopped now. It is therefore not necessary to conduct intensive research as to how often this happens and in which branches of business it occurs. What effect it will have on the labor market etc. The change of law back in the year 2000 did not function as it was intended, this made it possible for some employers to abuse employees by denying them a permanent job appointment and job security in the business. Our faction deem it necessary and mandatory as we represent the people to put an end to this undesirable practice in the interest of the employees as well as the employer and the country.
The initiators of the draft law to end the abuse of the short term contracts.
Submitted by member of Parliament, George Pantophlet