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As an employer in the Netherlands you can offer unemployed people or people partially fit for work an unpaid 2 month trial placement (proefplaatsing). You can make use of a job coach.
During the trial placement period, the intended employees keep their unemployment benefit. If you are satisfied with their performance during this period, you offer these people an employment contract at the end of the trial period. This employment contract cannot include another trial period. The Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) must agree to the trial placement.
In some cases you can extend the trial placement period up to 6 months. This can be the case, for example, if the employee falls ill during the placement.
When do you qualify?
- The prospective employee must receive benefit from UWV (WAO, WIA, WAZ, Wajong or Sickness (Ziektewet) or unemployment benefit (WW)).
- UWV has determined that the unemployed person or the person who is partially fit for work has limited prospects on the labour market.
- The prospective employee has not worked previously for the employer in question, or at least not in the same role.
- The employer should take out liability insurance for the employee for the duration of the trial placement.
- The employer must state the intention to offer the prospective employee a position for at least 6 months after the trial placement. That position must involve at least the same number of working hours as the person works during the trial placement.
For intended employees on unemployment benefits (WW) there are some extra conditions:
- The intended employee has been unemployed for at least 3 months before the trial placement. This condition expires if the prospective employee is:
- under 27 years of age and does not have a basic qualification
- has received sickness or disability benefits prior to their unemployment and they are no longer able to return to their previous job
- The intended employee has problems securing a job without help.
There are also some limitations to trial placements:
- Employees in the education sector who receive unemployment benefit must request permission from UWV before they can accept a trial placement.
- Trial placements are not possible in the transport sector. Because a trial is not a recognised employment, drivers cannot get a declaration of employment. They need this to be able to work.
How to apply?
You and the intended employee can request a trial placement from UWV. If, however, you think the standard 2 months period for a particular position is too short, you can indicate this on your application form, while explaining the reason for an extended assessment period.