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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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

Opti-Flor: Change of internal communication corona

Interne communicatie corona Opti-Flor

Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 May 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
Author Amber van der Graaf (Panteia) and Eurofound
Measure added 02 December 2020 (updated 28 January 2021)

Background information

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.

Content of measure

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.

Use of measure

Approximately 300 workers are expected to fall under these new practices.

Contents

  • Work organisation

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

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 involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

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.

Views and reactions

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.

Sectors and occupations

    • 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.

Sources

  • 17 March 2020: Taskforce Arbeid aan de slag met knelpunten agrarisch personeel (www.lto.nl)
  • 07 May 2020: Miranda van Beek van Opti-Flor: “Laat zien dat je er bent voor medewerkers” (werkgeverslijn.nl)

Citation

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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