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-2020-18/1549 – measures in Netherlands
|Country||Netherlands , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 01 May 2020|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
|Author||Amber van der Graaf (Panteia)|
|Measure added||02 December 2020 (updated 28 January 2021)|
During the COVID-19 crisis it is important for companies to adequately communicate information about new developments of the COVID-19 crisis and the consequences thereof to employees. In the agricultural sector, there are a lot of foreign employees who require additional attention because they lack the native language skills required to gather relevant information themselves.
Opti-Flor is an orchid nursery in Westland, South-Holland. They have developed an internal communication strategy to inform their employees, many of whom are from Poland, about developments during the COVID-19 crisis. Since the start of the crisis Opti-Flor started sending all their employees a video two to three times a week with an overview of all the relevant news. These videos last two to two-and-a-half minutes and feature a director or operational managers who talk about the consequences of new developments. To increase trust, they also communicated the uncertainties which the business faced to co-workers. On top of these videos employees are also informed about new government measures through the company newsletters. Lastly, there is a weekly Q&A every Wednesday night for co-workers who want to ask additional questions.
Approximately 300 workers are expected to fall under these new practices.
Employees in standard employment
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||No involvement as case not in social partner domain||No involvement as case not in social partner domain|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
No other organisations were involved with this particular policy.
The main level of dialogue with regards to labour conditions in the agriculture sector is national. The largest employee organisations have set up a taskforce labour which aims to provide information about COVID-19 measures to its members, assists with labour shortages and lobbies for lifting certain labour measures. The employee organisation federation of the agricultural sector, Land- en Tuinbouw Organisatie (LTO) Nederland, is also actively involved on labour conditions through its membership of the Stichting van de Arbeid.
While no other organisations were involved in the development this case has been shared as an example of successful communication with employees by a knowledge centre for employer’s in the agricultural sector, “Werkgeverslijn”. This knowledge centre has been set up by various employer organisations in the agricultural sector. Werkgeverslijn has devoted the month November to the issue of communicating with your employees during COVID-19, it has set-up an information page for communication strategies and organised a webinar.
Werkgeverslijn shared this as an example of a good communication strategy. On a more general level, social partners are not very active on the issue of internal communication during COVID-19. The Dutch national government has been more active. It has written a white paper about communication strategies and provided translations of official press conferences and COVID-19 measures. Various regional agricultural employee organisations have shared these resources on their websites.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles||G46 Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles|
This case is not occupation-specific.
Eurofound (2020), Opti-Flor: Change of internal communication corona, measure NL-2020-18/1549 (measures in Netherlands), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/NL-2020-18_1549.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.