Everything you need to know about the phase system at employment agencies


Many temporary agency workers often have questions about their rights. Our usual response is that your rights depend on the number of weeks you have worked for AB Werkt. In this article, we share three important facts about the phase system used by employment agencies.

  1. You have to keep working to maintain the same rights

In 2015, the Dutch government introduced the phase system for employment agencies. The longer you work for the same agency, the more rights you build up. So, it pays to work via AB Werkt for a longer period of time.

  • Phase A

During the first 52 weeks that you work for us, both you and AB Werkt may terminate your contract at any time. AB Werkt does not have to look for alternative work for you if your employer no longer needs you. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t try to find you a new job. There are plenty of things we can do for you if your job with your employer comes to an end, or if you are not happy with the work. We can also help you find another job if you have a part-time assignment but want to work full-time.

  • Phase B

After phase A, you move into a phase with temporary contracts. AB Werkt will give you a maximum of six temporary contracts in a three-year period. If your employer no longer needs you, we will look for alternative work for you. If we can’t find a job for you, we will continue to pay some of your wages. If you haven’t worked through us for less than 13 weeks, we can add those weeks to the three-year period. You will remain in Phase B. If you haven’t worked for us for 26 weeks or more, you will return to Phase A.

  • Phase C

In Phase C, you get a permanent contract. We are also obliged to find suitable work for you when your assignment comes to an end – and we really do our best! But, if we are unable to find you a job, we continue to pay 90% of the wages you received for your last assignment.

  1. More rights also mean more obligations

Obviously, it is great to have more rights as a temporary agency worker. But with those rights come obligations. Let’s take the notice period as an example: In Phase A, you can end your assignment whenever you want; in Phases B and C, you have a notice period of at least one month. Also good to know: Although AB Werkt has the same notice period as you, we may only terminate your contract with the permission of the Employee Insurance Agency Public Employment Service (UWV WERKbedrijf).

  1. If you stay with us long enough, you will get a permanent contract

One of the main advantages of Phase B and Phase C is that we will find you another job if your assignment ends. We are obliged to find you suitable work: work that is at more or less the same level as the work for which you were hired. Our offer may not be more than two job groups lower than your first assignment for us. If we find you something that is for fewer hours than originally agreed, for the remaining hours we will pay 90% of the wages you received for your last assignment. To avoid losing your accumulated rights, you must, of course, accept our offer of suitable work. You can refuse the offer, but then you will move back to Phase A.

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