The Netherlands are situated in the north West of Europe. Its direct neighbours are Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. The state is subdivided into 12 states. With a surface of around 34,000 square kilometres and around 16 million dwellers it is a instead little state as compared to other European Union member states such as Germany, France or Spain. However, the population denseness is with 470 dwellers per square kilometre highest as compared to the Europe where the norm is 118 dwellers per square kilometre. The capital Amsterdam has 735,328 dwellers. The national linguistic communication in the Netherlands is Dutch, whereas English is considered as the extra concern linguistic communication. The economic system in the Netherlands is characterized as an unfastened economic system with a high accent on foreign trade ( Brewster et al. , 2004 ) . The GDP per capita is presently 131 with a existent GDP growing of three per centum. The rising prices rate presently lies at 1.4 % ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) .
After the 1950, the Netherlands were characterized by clear separation of Catholic, Protestant and socialist parties, of which every party had its ain trade brotherhoods and political parties. This phenomenon extremely influenced the development of employee dealingss in the Netherlands, as many via medias in the statute law had to be found ( Ferner & A ; Hyman, 1998 ) . This besides involved the creative activity of the still today bing Social-Economic Council ( SER ) which is a council that consists of employers ‘ representatives, brotherhood representatives and independent experts. It was conceived to happen a societal consensus and via media in industrial dealingss ( SER, n.d. ) .
As many other states, the Netherlands were earnestly hit by the oil crisis in 1979, which resulted in a recession characterized by a high rate of unemployment and a diminution in national income and investing. Besides, brotherhood rank earnestly declined. However, after 1983, the state moved out of the recession and the unemployment rate declined to a more sensible degree ( Ferner & A ; Hyman, 1998 ) . Today, the unemployment rate is with 4.6 % well lower than the European norm, although it has risen at a fast gait after the most recent economic crisis ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) . Since the 1980s, three subjects have been of great involvement in the Netherlands as they intensively influenced the labour dealingss state of affairs: The pay moderateness, the reform of the societal security system and the debut of the active employment policy. The pay moderateness was introduced in order to cut down unemployment and to avoid the decrease of working clip. Additionally, the pay moderateness is important component to guarantee the strong economic places of the Netherlands, as it encompasses low labour costs which are hence in the Netherlands are among the lowest in Europe. Within the societal security reform, many benefits of for illustration unemployment or illness were reduced as the costs of the societal security system could non be covered any longer. Finally, the active employment policies aimed at making more occupations and doing every bit many people participate in the labour market as possible. Many of these policies specifically targeted underrepresented group in the work force, like adult females or aged people ( Ferner & A ; Hyman, 1998 ) .
Today, the general employment rate of the people aged between 15 and 64 ( 74.8 % ) every bit good as the female employment rate is higher than the European norm. These Numberss can partly be explained by the peculiarly high sum of parttime workers in the Netherlands as compared to other European states. However, the gender wage spread in the Netherlands is with 18 % among the highest in Europe. Although engagement in the labour market is instead high in the Netherlands, the figure of freelance people is with 6,5 % instead low in the European comparing. Sing the mean rate employees keep one occupation, the Netherlands shows an mean mark of 9.9 old ages which corresponds to the overall European norm.
Although impermanent and more flexible labour contracts become more and more frequent in all European provinces, fixed employment contracts are still considered of major importance.
The Netherlands are one of those states holding implemented a minimal pay rate, which is differentiated for employees younger and older than 23 old ages. The minimal pay rate is adapted twice a twelvemonth depending to corporate understandings. In 2009, the minimal pay rate for employees that are 23 old ages old or older ballad at 1398.60 a‚¬ per month.
In general, the Netherlands are characterized by a instead high grade of homogeneousness, whereas, when sing the economic state of affairs of the state, it can be discovered that there are certain disagreements between the eastern and the western portion of the state. From an economic point of position, the West is more of import and richer than the eastern portion ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) . The political environment in the state is extremely influences by the fact that the Netherlands have a constitutional monarchy where Queen Beatrix is the caput of the province ( Brewster et al. , 2004 ) .
Sing trade brotherhoods, the rank in brotherhoods of Dutch employees has been with 29 % in 1995 comparatively low as compared to some other European states. Today, approximately one one-fourth of all employees are members of trade brotherhoods. However, most employees support the point of view that trade brotherhoods are indispensable instruments to stand for employee involvements.
In the Netherlands, there is a assortment of trade brotherhood organisations. The biggest, most influential and therefore most of import histrions are the Dutch Trade Union Federation ( FNV ) , the Christian Trade Union Federation ( CNV ) and the Federation of Managerial and Professional Staff ( MHP ) . The FNV is a amalgamation of around 15 trade brotherhoods from the agricultural, service and conveyance sectors. With 11 affiliate trade brotherhoods, the CNV is the 2nd largest trade brotherhood organisation in the Netherlands. These 11 trade brotherhoods are among others coming from the fabrication, defence and health care sector. The MHP, the 3rd largest Dutch trade brotherhood organisation, on the other manus, was established to stand for older workers and presents besides takes blue-collar workers ‘ involvements into consideration. On the countering side, one can happen a scope of employer organisations, excessively. Compared to the brotherhood denseness, the denseness of employer organisations seems to be instead high, although there are no figures that could function as grounds. The three chief histrions on the employers ‘ side are the Confederation of Netherlands Industries and Employers ( VNO-NCW ) , which represent big companies from the industry and services, the Dutch Federation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises ( MKB-Nederland ) , which is evidently stand foring little and moderate-sized endeavors ( SME ) and the Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture ( LTO-Nederland ) , which is charged of companies runing in the agricultural sector. These three employer organisations hold a really solid place when seeking to happen understandings with employee representative organisations, as they created Council of Central Employers ‘ Associations. In this council, all three employer organisations meet on a regular basis and particularly before policy argument in order to happen a common understanding and place beforehand ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) .
The state chiefly adheres to national policy where regional policies do non hold a high impact. The chief signifier of ordinance for industrial and employment dealingss is jurisprudence ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) . When it comes to industrial dealingss in the Netherlands, the chief issues discussed are non merely working clip and rewards, but besides work and attention, employability, variable wage and working conditions. Apart from these, gender equality, which includes non merely pay but besides staffing issues, is more and more included in corporate bargaining treatments. Corporate bargaining takes topographic point on the national, the company and the sector degree. However, corporate bargaining at the national degree has instead a coordination of understandings map. Besides, issues agreed on at the national degree are instead seen as recommendations and less as binding Torahs. Chiefly, corporate bargaining is decentralized and takes topographic point chiefly at the sector degree. Due to this fact, some versions have to be made in order to render understandings applicable for every company within one sector. For this intent, a certain grade of centralisation is implemented. This can either take the signifier of spliting understandings into subcategories of which one class applies to the full sector and another class does non use to particular instances within the sector. Another option is to make a common understanding with certain agreements for particular instances. Finally, presents it is going more common to plan understandings to a certain extent more flexible that leave certain room for single versions and picks.
Bargaining coverage in the Netherlands is changeless and really high, as 81 % of Dutch employees fall under and are affected by understandings found during corporate bargaining procedures. Once an understanding was found all members of the take parting parties, which are the trade brotherhood organisations and the employer organisations, are lawfully bound to follow those understandings. The employers have to take attention that non merely brotherhood members, but besides other employees, receive the same on the job conditions matching to an understanding.
In regard to industrial struggle, it can first of all be noted that work stoppages are instead infrequent in the Netherlands. However, the sectors affected most by work stoppages are for illustration the building, the conveyance and the commercial services sectors. Normally, if there are work stoppages or other signifiers of corporate action they are direct responses to reconstituting steps which raised wage issues or a high sum of cancellations of working contracts from the employers ‘ side ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) .
The most of import tripartite organic structure that can be found in the Netherlands is the earlier mentioned Social and Economic Council ( SER ) whose members are every bit distributed from each the employer ‘s and the employee ‘s side. Another equal portion is held by independent members who are chosen by the authorities. Issues like worker engagement, labour market invention, environment and societal security are covered by this tripartite organic structure ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) .
As in many other European states, plants councils are the chief organic structure to be in charge of employee representation while maintaining the company ‘s involvement in head. Work councils have to be implemented in every company that has more than 50 employees. Opposed to some other states, plants councils have a instead positive image in the Netherlands, besides among the highest hierarchal degrees in a company. On the other manus, employee representatives are merely seldom portion of the board of managers. As in Germany, the companies are governed harmonizing to a two-tier board construction ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) . This means that it is divided into the board of managers and the board of direction ( Tricker, 2009 ) .
Alternatively of a specific labour tribunal, the Netherlands have certain mechanisms in order to guarantee and implement employee rights. The application and pick of the mechanism depends to the nature of the issue ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) .
What is exceeding about the employment ordinances in the Netherlands is that if companies want to stop a working relationship with an employee it has to have an official license for dismissal from the public governments. To avoid this, the lone option is conveying the issue to tribunal. This way is taken in about half of all the instances. This ordinance is an frequently discussed and criticized issue in the Netherlands, particularly as its yesteryear development has become progressively disadvantageous for employees ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) .
Another tendency and specialness about the Netherlands is the societal security system. The Netherlands spend about 32 % of their GDP on societal security issues. This situates the Netherlands on 4th topographic point right after Sweden, Finland and Denmark ( Ferner & A ; Hyman, 1998 ) . However, ordinances covering with the benefits of unemployment are late going stricter. A general tendency within the state seems to be that harmonizing to active employment policies, ordinances about unemployment, disablement and illness benefits are tightened. This is done in order to do the reintegration into working life more attractive than excepting oneself from it. Additionally, the societal security system needed to be reworked in order to salvage costs ( Ferner & A ; Hyman, 1998 ) .
As mentioned before, the tendency in Europe goes progressively towards more flexible on the job conditions. The same is besides true for the Netherlands. This tendency has advantages and disadvantages for both employers and employees. Companies claim that flexible contracts enhance fight and for employees the benefits are that work-life balance can be increased and that a higher figure of people can be integrated in the labour market. On the other manus, those flexible contracts might make uncertainness or a feeling of unfairness amongst employees, which can besides ensue in a reduced occupation satisfaction and therefore a reduced occupation public presentation ( Brewster et al. , 2004 ) .
Sing working clip, there is some tendency that employees require a longer on the job clip per hebdomad. Presently, the mean lies at 37 hours per hebdomad ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) .
Still today, a major issue is the gender wage spread. Nowadays, the different parties try to work intensively on contracting the spread. The subject has earned immense importance so that it became an issue for corporate bargaining ( van het Kaar, 2009 ; Brewster et al. , 2004 ; Ferner & A ; Hyman, 1998 ) . In ulterior subdivisions, this issue will be discussed in item, including grounds, the menaces of the current state of affairs, the development and suggestions or recommendations for the hereafter.
Apart from the above mentioned tendencies, there are no noticeable of import tendencies in regard to industrial dealingss in the Netherlands, as the state of affairs has non faced major alterations in recent old ages. When taking a longer clip frame into consideration, it can be noticed that brotherhood denseness has decreased to 24 % , although this figure stood comparatively changeless over recent old ages. A subject that might go an issue in the approaching old ages might be the ripening of trade brotherhood, as members get older and merely few new, younger employees join trade brotherhoods ( van het Kaar, 2009 ) .
As said before, the Netherlands are late working hard on cut downing the gender wage spread. In the past few the decennaries the gender wage spread was easy reduced, late from 22 % to 18 % . But the wage spread is still among the highest as compared to other European states ( Grunell & A ; Sinzheimer, 2008 ; Grunell, 2010 ; Broughton, 1999 ; Grunell, 2002 ) . The European mean wage spread was 14.5 % in 2008 ( Chubb, Melis, Potter, & A ; Storry, 2008 ) . When sing the issue in item, it can be noted that there are immense differences within different sectors. The pay spread between male and female employees is largest in the industry, fabrication, banking and insurance sector. Opposed to this, the difference between rewards of work forces and adult females is lowest in the attention, instruction and retail trade sectors, whereby it has to be noted that the rewards in these sectors are on mean by and large considered as the lowest. Additionally, the latter sectors are frequently seen as chiefly supplying “ female ” occupations ( Grunell, 2002 ; Grunell, 2007 ) . By and large, research workers found that it does non hold an impact on the rewards of adult females if they are employed under a multi-employer or a single-employer understanding ( Grunell, 2010 ) .
There are assortment of grounds that explain the gender wage spread and why it is so high specifically in the Netherlands. First of all it has to be repeated that parttime work is really common in the Netherlands, as 25 % of all male employees and 75 % of all female employees are parttime workers ( van het Kaar, 2009 ; Grunell & A ; Sinzheimer, 2008 ) . The exceptionally high proportion of female working portion clip explains a big portion of the gender wage spread. Part-time workers are frequently excluded from benefits like preparation and development steps or fillips and they are less often promoted than full-time employees ( Grunell, 2008 ) . Particularly the deficiency of preparation consequences in a lower making as compared to those having regular preparation. This leads to take down chances to make higher hierarchical degrees which are normally linked to higher pay rates ( Grunell & A ; Sinzheimer, 2008 ) . By and large, out of a assortment of grounds, there is a limited figure of adult females in higher direction places in the Netherlands. As higher hierarchical degrees by and large earn more than lower 1s, this fact can besides explicate a portion of the gender wage spread ( Grunell & A ; Sinzheimer, 2008 ) . The low figure of adult females in direction place can partly be explained by the typical “ glass ceiling ” phenomenon. This means that higher-ups are frequently loath to advance adult females to higher direction places as the premise persists that adult females have a higher family-work struggle than work forces do ( Hoobler, Wayne, & A ; Lemmon, 2009 ) .
Another ground for the big wage spread is that adult females ‘s working forms are frequently discontinuous, by which is meant that they tend to disrupt their on the job life for a certain clip when they stay home in order to care for their kids. Still in the twenty-first century, some traditional function outlooks persist, as adult females are frequently expected to hold kids and to remain at place to care for them, whereas the male would so traditionally be seen as the “ breadwinner ” . At this point it has to be noted, that it is extremely likely that this is non merely ensuing out of social force per unit area but that adult females really want and chose themselves to remain at place to care for their kids ( Davies & A ; Thomas, 2000 ) . This fact besides goes in manus with research findings which underline that for adult females other factors, like flexible working hours and the propinquity of the workplace to their place is much more of import than wage ( Grunell, 2002 ) . For this ground it is likely more likely that adult females focus more on those facets within pay dialogues whereas work forces would perchance give greater importance to make the highest possible pay rate.
Furthermore, research frequently showed that adult females are frequently less brave and less self-asserting when raising wage issues with their higher-ups. This fact may besides come from the fact that there are much fewer female than male brotherhood members. As brotherhood members are used to negociating labour jurisprudence issues including wage issues, they are likely more self-asserting concerning pay issues and dialogues ( Grunell & A ; Sinzheimer, 2008 ) .
Finally, many research workers argue that the gender wage spread besides exists because adult females voluntarily chose to work in sectors where rewards are by and large lower than in other sectors, like for illustration the health care sector, where rewards are comparatively low as compared to the banking sector ( Grunell, 2007 ; Grunell, 2008 ) .
Apart from the above mentioned grounds, an mean wage spread of 7 % remains unexplained and can non be justified by the above mentioned accounts ( Grunell, 2002 ) . It is possible that this spread exists because adult females do non take part in the labour market every bit long as work forces have and it is still some kind of a common manner of covering with the issue, which means that, possibly, adult females earn less because it has ever been like this.
There can be different ensuing jobs of a immense gender wage spread. First of wholly, it might ensue in a serious feeling of unfairness of female work forces if they compare their inputs and end products to those of their male opposite numbers. This fact might take to a reduced occupation satisfaction and therefore their public presentation might drop. In this instance, a high sum of potency would be wasted.
Presents, more and more enterprises are taken in order to cut down the gender wage spread in the Netherlands. Already in the terminal of the 1890ss, the European Trade Union Confederation ( ETUC ) adopted an equality action program which, beside increasing the figure of female brotherhood members and accomplishing gender equality in trade brotherhood policy, aims at accomplishing equal wage. Within this action program it is emphasized that it is the trade brotherhoods ‘ undertaking to contend harder for equal wage. The ETUC argues that this can be achieved if a higher proportion of adult females were stand foring employees ‘ involvements by fall ining trade brotherhoods ( Broughton, 1999 ) .
As the job of unequal wage between work forces and adult females persists, there are besides some recent enterprises. First of wholly, the authorities addresses the issue within its emancipation policy. This raises consciousness for the issue and it could really somewhat cut down the unexplained proportion of the gender wage spread. Furthermore, within the Netherlands, specific organic structures were created to cover with the issue. For illustration, there is the National Working Group of Equal Pay, which consists of societal spouses and experts from the Equal Treatment Commission. The organic structure was implemented to move as an advice commission to raise consciousness for the issue and to give companies and other histrions support when seeking to set rewards in order to cut down the gender wage spread. Unfortunately, the enterprises taken by the authorities are chiefly based on giving advice, raising consciousness and finding recommendations. Recently, there were no specific policies introduced to contend pay favoritism ( Grunell, 2010 ) . The trade brotherhood federations on the other manus play a much bigger function in order to turn to the wage spread issue. First, the FNV has established a collaborating enterprise with research workers in order to observe gender wage spreads, as this is an indispensable starting point to extinguish them. Additionally, several brotherhood federations offer preparations and a scope of awareness-raising runs to increase the acknowledgment of the job. Furthermore, the Central Labor Commission implemented the pay index, which is a tool to objectively determine the right and equal pay rate for a peculiar occupation. Apart from this, they created a model called Equal Treatment and Equal Chances of Men and Women, which besides aims at placing the chief grounds for the segregation of the labour market. Finally, they implemented a Day of Equal Pay in order to raise consciousness and they created a Checklist of Equal Pay so that societal spouses can find where to set payment systems. From the employers ‘ side, there is merely a low degree of action to cut down the gender wage spread. They follow enterprises of other histrions but normally do non make their ain to specifically turn to the pay inequalities between work forces and adult females. The chief enterprises taken by employer associations are linked to the publicity of diverseness within organisation ( Grunell, 2010 ) .
When sing the development of the gender wage spread it seems to a certain extent surprising that the gender wage spread between male and female employees is still so important as adult females are nowadays undeniably a immense portion and a natural phenomenon in the labour market. Ideally, every employee should have a pay rate that is objectively determined without taking the gender into consideration ( Van de Vliert & A ; Van der Vegt, 2004 ) .
To cut down the gender wage spread it might be advantageous if non merely the trade brotherhoods engaged themselves in the battle against wage inequalities but if other histrions supported their work more intensively. For illustration, the Dutch employers ‘ side should besides take over some duty to cut down the gender wage spread by accommodating payment constructions or altering the manner of covering with parttime employees. Rubery et Al. ( 1997 ) stress that payment structures play a important function and that they have to be adapted in order to cover with the unequal wage issues. There are different attacks for payment systems and each of these imply certain advantages and disadvantages. Payment can be dependent to senior status, piecework and production-related fillips, virtue or performance-related wage or job-related and working-time addendums. In many of these, adult females frequently experience disadvantages which were partly already mentioned before. For illustration, disrupting callings decreases senior status and fillips are as discussed earlier frequently denied to parttime workers ( Rubery et al. , 1997 ) . Therefore, these systems have to be adapted and designed specifically to obtain as nonsubjective and just payment constructions as possible. At this point, the feasibleness has to be questioned. In order to enable just and nonsubjective wage structures the full organisational civilization and working norms have to be changed or adapted. This is a hard procedure within a company, as alteration tends to be uncomfortable for employees. Another manner to cut down unequal wage could be to heighten preparation for adult females or for parttime workers in general as a really big proportion of female employees in the Netherlands work half-time. This would give adult females better calling promotion chances and give them a more competitory place as compared to their male opposite numbers.
Research showed that centralized or cosmopolitan minimal criterions, crystalline wage constructions and a tight scattering of wage enhance gender wage equity ( Rubery et al. , 1997 ) .
Finally, the authorities of the Netherlands could besides happen enterprises to contract the gender wage spread. It could for illustration act by presenting quotas for adult females in higher direction places. In this manner, the issue of the glass ceiling can partly be overcome. On the other manus, it is questionable if presenting such a quota would diminish the flexibleness of organisations and it would foremost of all have to be analyzed if there are adequate possible female skilled workers available for every industry to carry through quotas. Additionally, the authorities could present lawfully adhering policies that prohibit unequal wage, whereas the feasibleness and controllability of such policies would be of import issues to see. They would hold to be implemented carefully so that companies do non lose excessively much flexibleness and that it can be controlled if companies truly adhere to the jurisprudence.
By and large, the hereafter development of the issue has to be observed. It might go on that cultural values and norms change so that the gender wage spread is more and more decreased. On the other manus, research has shown that in states where the engagement of adult females in the labour market is high and where the frequence of work stoppages is low, like in the Netherlands, the job of the gender wage spread is likely to prevail and possibly even worsen ( Van de Vliert & A ; Van der Vegt, 2004 ) . Therefore it is of great importance that all histrions keep on covering with the issue of wage inequality in order to happen a manner to cut down it to a lower limit or even to extinguish it one twenty-four hours.