These are turbulent times in the labor market. The spillover from the corona crisis, the effects of the war in Ukraine, a shortage of raw materials and supplies and the resulting economic instability are being felt in virtually every sector. As a result, many employers are experiencing the need for a flexible work structure. But how can you as an employer do this? We suggest a few possibilities.
The flexi-job system in which workers can cheaply '"sideline has existed for several years now. Employers in specific sectors (e.g. bakers, supermarkets, retail, etc.) can call on retirees or employees who have been working for 4/5the work for another employer, to make up for their (temporary) shortage of labor. The strength of the flexi-job lies in its low cost: after all, the flexi-jobber pays no social contributions and taxes on the flexi-work, the employer, on the other hand, has to pay an NSSO contribution of 25 %. Gross is thus quasi equal to net. This makes working through flexi-job attractive not only for employers, but also for employees.
Occasional employees in the hospitality industry
In the hospitality industry, you can employ workers for a very short duration, or for a specific assignment. These so-called 'occasional employees' can be deployed for a maximum duration of two consecutive days. Per calendar year, an employee has a 'piggy bank' of 50 days that he can use as an occasional employee to pay less social security contributions. The employer, for his part, also has such a 'piggy bank' which allows him to employ casual workers, but of 200 calendar days. If this limit is exceeded, normal social contributions will still be paid.
Via a certified employment agency, companies can also use temporary workers, i.e. employees who are temporarily loaned to the company. Important: the posting must always be temporary, such as to replace an employee or for a temporary increase in work.
The temporary employment agency acts as the employer and is largely responsible for the obligations under employment law. For example, the temporary employment agency is responsible for the guaranteed salary in case of illness, not the user. Temporary employment can only be used in certain specific cases and is generally more expensive.
Flexible working hours
Even without having to recruit new workers, there are possibilities to compensate for employment shortages in peak periods. Through flexible work schedules (regimes of 'small/large flexibility'), companies can adjust the employability of their existing workforce to the needs of their business operations.
Through minor flexibility, employees can work up to 5 hours more ("peak schedule") or 5 hours less ("off-peak schedule") per week with a maximum of 9 hours per day. The difference per day may also never be more than 2 hours. Great flexibility, in turn, allows employees to work up to 12 hours per day. Sundays, holidays and even night work can also be applied through this system.
Employees may also agree to perform "voluntary" overtime, in certain industries even up to 360 hours per calendar year. This agreement must be in writing. Voluntary overtime can be worked for a maximum of 11 hours per day and 50 hours per week. These overtime hours do give rise to overtime pay: + 50 % on weekdays and + 100 % on Sundays and public holidays, but no recuperation.
If the business activities are partially halted, then applying for temporary unemployment can be a last resort be. A helpful tip: Until the end of June 2022, employers who are seriously affected economically by the conflict in Ukraine or the corona crisis can still use the greatly simplified procedure of temporary unemployment by corona.
Knowing when which system is best to apply and doing so in line with your business strategy remains a matter of customization. So don't start without the necessary know-how. We can already assist you in outlining a flexible personnel policy tailored to your needs.
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