Overview of Dutch Working Conditions in 2016

In 2016, occupational health and safety policies in Dutch companies were more widespread than in 2014, but still below the level of 2007, according to an ‘Overview of Dutch working conditions 2016’ -report.

Overview of Dutch Working Conditions in 2016

The ‘Overview of Dutch working conditions 2016’ –report is published biannually presenting the current state of the working conditions and work-related health of employees and of health and safety policies at companies in the Netherlands.According to the report, in 2016, there was an increase in compliance with the key provisions of the Working Conditions Act by companies, such as having a contract with an occupational health and safety service or service provider, sickness absence-related policies, a prevention employee, work meetings with employees and provision of information and training. Compliance percentages varied between 45 percent of companies with a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E) and 75 percent of companies with a contract with an occupational health and safety service provider and the provision of information and training. Given that large companies employ the majority of employees, these policies involved 83 percent and 96 percent respectively of the Dutch employees. The increase in health and safety policies in 2016 may be related to economic developments.

 

Accidents and Diseases

Work-related accidents and diseases lead to high costs. These costs include costs of paying salaries to employees who are absent due to work-related issues (4.7 billion euros), disability benefits (1.9 billion euros), and the costs of medical and other care for people with a work-related condition (1.4 billion euros). Together, these costs added up to 8 billion euros, thereby accounting for more than 20 percent of all the costs of sickness absence, disability, and medical care for those in work in 2016.

 

Employee health is stable

The report shows that the level of health experienced by employees has been stable for many years: 82 percent of employees described their own health as being good or very good. Meanwhile, less than 2 percent assessed it as poor to very poor. Of all employees, 18 percent said they have a long-term or chronic condition that restricts the ability to perform their work optimally. This percentage has maintained rather stable for many years. However, the report showed significant differences according to the type of complaints involved. The proportion of people who were limited in their ability to perform work is high especially among those with psychological issues (74 percent), arm/hand complaints (71 percent), and back/neck complaints (67 percent).

Between 2007 and 2009, the percentage of employees experiencing work-related stress symptoms increased from 11 percent to 13 percent. In 2015, 14 percent of employees reported burn-out symptoms.

 

Sickness absence is stable and depends strongly on personal characteristics and types of employment contract

Since 2007, the level of sickness absences in the Netherlands has fluctuated by around 4 percent. This means that every year, on average, employees were absent 4 out of every 100 working days. On average, employees had one period of sickness absence every year. The average duration of sickness absence for all employees - including those who are not absent at all – is 7.0 working days. In 2011, this was 7.7 working days. Those who do go absent are away from work for an average of 15.7 working days. Around half of all the days lost to sickness in the Netherlands (work-related or not) are related to musculoskeletal symptoms (27 percent) and psychological problems, stress, or burn-out symptoms (22 percent).

Sectors and industries in which employees carry out physically or mentally demanding work stood out in the report in terms of experiencing high levels of sickness absence. Healthcare, public administration, construction, transport, industry and education are sectors with an above average level of sickness absences.

Sickness absence among people on permanent contracts was according to the report almost twice as high as among those on temporary contracts. Employment agency employees and on-call employees also had a relatively low rate of sickness absence. Rates of sickness absence are relatively high among women, older employees, employees with poor educational qualifications, employees with a chronic or long-term condition, divorced and widowed employees, and those who act as informal caregivers for family or friends. In the case of older employees, the higher levels of sickness absence can be explained largely by the fact that they are more likely to have chronic diseases. Employees with poor educational qualifications are also more likely to have health problems and work in relatively more demanding conditions. The higher levels of sickness absence among informal caregivers may be explained mostly from the fact that they are older on average, and therefore have more chronic health problems.

 

Click Image to Enlarge
Asset 2@4x-100
Click Image to Enlarge
Asset 3@4x-100

 

Working Conditions

In many areas, the Netherlands compares favourably with the rest of Europe. Compared with the rest of Europe, working conditions (both psychological and physical) are favourable for Dutch employees, according to a 2015 survey among employees in every European country. More often than their counterparts in the rest of Europe, Dutch employees said that their work has a positive influence on their health, that they are less emotionally exhausted due to work, and that they are more engaged in their work. Dutch employees also stated that they see themselves being able to continue working up to a higher age, on average, than employees living in other European countries. However, Dutch employees also reported more frequently than employees elsewhere in Europe that they have faced verbal threats, humiliation, physical violence, and discrimination in the work place. This can be explained in part by the number of service-provision functions in the Netherlands being slightly higher on average than in the rest of Europe. Another possible explanation to this is that workers in the Netherlands have fewer barriers to reporting aggression experienced in the work place.

With a sickness absence rate of 4 percent, the Netherlands is above average of all EU nations (3 percent). The proportion of employees who have reported sick at least once in the past 12 months is greater than average in the Netherlands (53 percent compared to 48 percent for Europe). However, the proportion of work-related sickness absence in the Netherlands is relatively low: 14 percent of employees who had been on sickness absence stated that one or more of their days’ absence had been work-related. Of the total for the 28 EU countries, this is 19 percent. Differences between the member states could be the result of differences in financial compensation for those who report sick, of the socio-demographic features of the working population, and of the structure of the various sectors in the employment market, and the related working conditions.

For work-related accidents that result in at least four days of sickness absence, the Netherlands, with almost 1,400 accidents per 100 thousand employees, is slightly below the average of the 28 EU countries. The number of fatal work-related accidents is lower in the Netherlands than in any other European country.

Read further: www.oshnetherlands.nl

HSE | 20.5.2017

Latest articles

It’s About “Time”

At Bentley Systems, we have been talking to our users, especially owners, and it has become clear that despite our collective best efforts, there is a gap in the market.  Owners need easy access to real-time, accurate, engineering information and they need tools that make it simple to keep engineering data up-to-date, especially those engaged in brownfield and revamp projects.  It takes too much time and effort to gather and verify the information they need to make decisions effectively. And for older plants that do not have 3D models, there is simply no visual way to verify and check information easily.

Partner Articles | 10.12.2018

Energy savings 4.0

We have all read about it: leak detection should be a top priority since, if no leak detection program has been implemented, leaks can account for 30 to 40% of consumed volume. So, why is this issue still on the table? Why is it difficult to change things in the field?

Asset Management | 10.12.2018

How to Choose an Air Compressor, According to Science – 8 Factors to Consider

Buying an air compressor, for the first time, can be challenging in many ways. There is a lot going on behind this power tool that offers faster and more efficient performance. Before we get to know about the details of an air compressor then, let’s understand how it works. How do air compressors work?

Applications | 10.12.2018

Maintenance 4.0 hype or game changer?

Last September Antwerp (Belgium) hosted the Euromaintenance 4.0 conference. With 1187 participants from 64 different countries, the European maintenance federation EFNMS and the organisers BEMAS (Belgian Maintenance Association) and Reliabilityweb.com can look back on a very successful initiative. The massive interest and very positive vibe that prevailed confirm that maintenance 4.0 is currently at the centre of attention. But is this really justified? Isn't the whole buzz surrounding the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) just a hype that will have faded in a year's time?

Cmms | 10.12.2018

8 Ways to Identify and Eliminate Noise Hazards in the Workplace

Occupational noise hazards are one of the most common workplace safety concerns. Our hearing is sensitive and it does not take much to temporarily impair or permanently damage it. 

HSE | 10.12.2018

Bacterial Bandages, Natural Dyes and Recycled Fibres: Aalto Brings Materials Revolution to Slush

New materials play an important role in sustainable development and combatting climate change. New uses for old materials can also be a major industrial opportunity: for example, the value of biomass from forests in Finland can be doubled if used for manufacturing products of higher added value.

R&D | 4.12.2018

Maintenance: A Necessary and Important Function in the Future

Euromaintenance 2016 will take place in Athens at the end of May. It is the ideal moment to reflect on maintenance in a European context. Euromaintenance is known as the summit for all involved in maintenance across Europe, it’s the place to be. The conference, with the support of the EFNMS, is the only commercially independent conference covering the topics we deal with in the maintenance world.

EFNMS | 20.5.2016