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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure NL-2013-1/2515 – measures in Netherlands



Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2013
Context COVID-19, Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Transfer or redeployment of workers
Author Thomas de Winter (Panteia) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 26 October 2022)

Background information

A flexpool is comprised of several employers based in the same area, who are looking for the same types of skills. Unemployed workers are hired by the flexpool organisation. They are then trained and sent to participating companies during their busiest periods of activity. Dutch legislation requires the management of each flexpool to offer open-ended contracts to the workers who have been involved in the system for 72 weeks.

This mechanism is designed to regulate and secure employment in the sectors concerned, while at the same time responding to companies’ flexibility constraints. For companies, it permits the combination of flexibility and a secure supply of qualified workers, while the pool’s workers benefit from job and income security, as well as professional training. It allows participating companies to compensate for seasonal and unpredictable fluctuations in production demand and limit the costs associated with recruiting temporary staff. It offers the pool’s workers a qualified and stable job, thus allowing them to benefit from an appropriate and predictable income.

Content of measure

This is available to firms in a region and/or sector that have set up a pool of flexible workers. Many examples can be found in the care sector (mental healthcare, care for elderly) ) and education sectors, both by individual companies and groups of companies. There are also flexpools, sometimes called 'arbopools', in other sectors.

Companies are invoiced by the flexpool. However, in several aspects they are run like a temporary working agency (TWA), offering work only when this is available. The difference with a TWA is that flexpools are not run as a for profit organisation.There is no financial public support for flexpools, but the UWV (Public Employment Service) and the Chamber of Commerce may be of practical and logistic assistance.

Use of measure

A formal and publically available evaluation of the flexpools is not available as these instruments are generally regional in nature. As such an encompassing assessment is difficult to achieve. 

There are no overviews of flexpools in place in the Netherlands; this is in part due to the fact that they are established by social partners and stakeholders from regions and sectors in response to a labour need. However, TNO, a research institute, conducted research on internal flexpools (within an organisation), and estimates that around 3% of employers in the Netherlands have such a pool. This value is thought to have remained stable since 2014. TNO expects that more internal and external flexpools may be used in future due to the pressure of COVID-19 on labour forces.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions




Eurofound (2022), Flexpool, measure NL-2013-1/2515 (measures in Netherlands), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.