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How exactly does working through an employment agency work?

If you work through an employment agency, this is different from a normal employment contract. Such a so-called temporary employment contract is a special employment contract, because three parties are involved: the temporary worker, the lender (the temporary employment agency) and the hirer (the client). In this case, the lender is your formal employer, while you will actually perform your work at the hirer.


In the temporary employment sector there are several collective labor agreements that may apply to your employment contract. The two major collective labor agreements are ABU and NBBU. A phase system is included in both collective labor agreements. In short, this phase system means: the longer you work for an employment agency, the stronger your rights become. Loyalty is thus rewarded in this story.

Every phase different

The ABU works with a phase A, B and C system. Each phase has its own set of rules that apply. Phase A lasts 78 weeks. After these 78 weeks, phase B starts, which lasts for two years or eight contracts. Phase C is an employment contract for an indefinite period. In both phase B and C you also receive a wage - at least 90% - if there is no assignment and the employment agency must find other suitable work for you. Canceling the contract in the meantime is also still possible, provided you observe the notice period of course.

The phase system in the NBBU works with phases 1, 2, 3 and 4. Phase 1 lasts 26 worked weeks and phase two lasts 52 worked weeks. An unlimited number of contracts may be entered into in phases 1 and 2. Phase 3 lasts a maximum of 4 years in which a maximum of 6 contracts may be entered into. Phase 4 is an employment contract for an indefinite period.

Agency clause

The agency clause is a clause that is often included in agency work employment contracts. Check your agreement whether an agency clause applies. If this clause is included in the agreement, the lender may terminate the temporary employment contract if the assignment at the hirer ends. There is no notice period in that case. This also applies in case of illness.

This agency clause does not apply during all phases. In the ABU CLA, the agency clause may only be included in phase A, in the NBBU CLA only in phases 1 and 2. For both the ABU CLA and the NBBU CLA, an agency clause automatically applies to the agency work employment contract. unless explicitly agreed otherwise.

Hirer's remuneration

The hirer's remuneration has been created to ensure equality of personnel. The hirer's remuneration therefore means that you are obliged to earn the same salary at the employment agency as the hirer's staff. This includes equal pay in the sense of gross salary, ADV days, allowances for overtime and irregular hours and expense allowance.

This concerns the employment conditions of the hirer on the basis of a collective labor agreement or, for example, an employment conditions regulation.

Do you work as a temporary worker and do you want to be employed by the client?

It is of course possible that the cooperation between the temporary worker and the client runs so well that the client itself offers an employment contract. In this situation it is good to know that a probationary period is not allowed and that the temporary employment contracts count in the chain of the maximum number of permitted temporary employment contracts.

Important developments

At the moment there is between employer organizations and vakbondand discussed the merging of various collective labor agreements, so that one collective labor agreement can be used for an entire sector. We keep all our members informed of all progress and changes.


Do you have any questions? Then contact us. We can help you with this. We can be reached by telephone on 0345 - 851 963 and you can also email us via

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