Permanent or flexible personnel?


The discussion surrounding permanent and flexible staff has been going on for a while and doesn’t look like ending anytime soon. It is also an almost impossible situation. As an employer, is it better to employ permanent staff? The advantages are obvious: binding people to the company in a structural way results in motivation, engagement, competitive advantage and practical knowledge. All characteristics of successful, learning organisations. On the other hand, flexible employment results in lower sickness and incapacity costs, as well as people who do their utmost to ensure that they are given new assignments by the same employer. What’s the wisest course?


As with so many other things, the answer is not black or white but grey. Both forms of employment offer specific advantages and disadvantages. ‘This is precisely the reason why we work the way we do at InAxtion,’ Marc van Ravenstein explains. ‘We supply technical staff to our clients. Our people are under contract to us and this provides them with the reassurance of continued pay during sickness or if no suitable project is currently available. This gives them peace of mind and increases their engagement with us as their employer. For our clients, they are actually flexible staff, which they can employ on appropriate projects without the risk of high, unforeseen costs. I think it’s fair to say that we offer the best of both worlds to all parties involved.’


The discussion about permanent, flexible and self-employed personnel looks set to continue. Especially since State Secretary for Finance Eric Wiebes has decided, for the time being, not to change the new regulations for self-employed people. The law on deregulation of employment relationship assessment (DBA in Dutch) has been postponed until 2018. ‘Let us together continue focusing primarily on the person behind the costs. I am convinced that you get back what you put in. And if you take a critical look at the people with whom you have permanent or flexible working relationships and you have good dealings with those employees, then as far as I’m concerned, all roads lead to Rome,’ says Van Ravenstein.