De callcenterbranche in de Nederlandse arbeidsmarkt en arbeidsverhoudingen | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


The callcenter sector in the Netherlands' labour market and labour relations

The callcenter sector in the Netherlands' labour market and labour relations

In this article, we analyze whether the Dutch labour market for callcenter agents is a segmented market, and whether this is related to the need to have a flexible workforce. Moreover, we discuss the degree to which labour market segmentation is embedded in Dutch labour relations. Both the results of our survey among callcenter managers and the additional qualitative information we derived from several case-studies reveal that the Dutch labor market for callcenter agents is a secondary labour market. Moreover, we find evidence that within this secondary segment, further segmentation exists between in-house callcenters and subcontractors, where the latter offer less attractive jobs. The duality of the labour market for call center agents is strongly related to callcenters' flexibility needs. This dual nature of the labour market is also reflected in labour relations. Agents employed in in-house call centers are more likely to be covered by their firm's or sectoral Collective Labour Agreement (CLA), whereas subcontractors have created a new sector of industry with its own CLA that covers all subcontractors by law. Compared to other countries, this regulation of labour relations is unique. However, the recent CLA between the subcontracting callcenters employers' organization, and a new union of Telecom workers shows that a CLA in a sector of industry that employs its workforce in the lower tier of a secondary labour market may have repercussions for Dutch labour relations.


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