We CAN hire you, if you, like, stay away for three months.

The whole situation still needs to sink in, but my boss has a deal for me.

I’ve worked for this company for a year now. I like it there, co-workers are good to me, and the work is interesting and relatively unstressful.

I started out as a temp, which means that if they tell me today they don’t need me anymore, I’ll be gone tomorrow. I’m not really afraid for that, they need someone to do what I do, an a replacement is not easily trained. I work together with someone who close to his retirement (next april) and they NEED two people here. That aside, I’ve had good reviews and they intend to hire me.

Now there’s a snag; me having been a temp for so long would mean they’d have to hire me indefinitely, or let me go (in case you’re wondering, these are Dutch laws). The best Big Boss (one step above boss) will offer is a one-year contract; he cites the economy is too unreliable to offer more.

To get that one-year contract, I’d have to quit for three months. (starting december or so). Before that, I’d have to train another temp, so all work gets done. I’d have to quit for three months, while the guy close to retirement still works here, and the newly trained temp. I’d return in March, to get that one-year contract.

I can bridge those three months without much financial trouble. Getting another job will propably not pay beyond ‘pizza-delivery’ level. Also, January and February aren’t really good months to seek new employment.

Should I go with this (the alternative is getting fired), do any of you have any advice? Making sure everything’s put in writing is a must, but beyond that…

Here endeth the infodump. I’ll be here, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

If it’s close-or-hit-the-bricks, personally I’d agree to it, get it in writing*, then get that pizza delivery job but simultaneously get my CV out and about. If by chance you should get another, better position, then go for that instead. If not, you have a fallback.

*I once had a similar situation when I took a sabbatical, and when I called up after six months I was told “things have changed” and ended up with no job at all.

I’d agree to it and start looking for other work. I would treat it as a backup plan.

And get it in writing.

If I’m reading the OP right he’ll never get anything in writing.

His temp company probably has a sort of non-compete clause. It’s relatively common - if the real company wants to actually hire the the guy they’ll have to pay the temp company a “finders fee”, for lack of a better word. The real company wants to avoid doing that, and putting “we’ll hire you in three months” (which is how long the non-compete clause generally was when I was temping) into writing wouldn’t be a smart idea.

Re-read the OP - the situation is driven by Dutch law, apparently, and not a company’s “no-compete” agreement. That does put a slightly different spin on things.

If you feel you can get through the three months, get it in writing. Look for a job in the meantime.

Take some time off. Relax.

The way I read your OP, they’re about to let you go anyway. So I don’t see what you have to lose by agreeing to this offer.
It’d be nice to get everything in writing, of course, but you don’t appear to have a whole lot of leverage here, so that might not happen. But even if they go back on their word, like I said, they’re about to let you go anyway, so really you won’t be any worse off. (Provided you don’t put all your eggs in this basket, and keep yourself on the market in the meantime.)

Personally, if I could afford to take 3 months off and be reasonably sure I’d have a job to come back to, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Writing is better than oral agreements, but remember Penn Jillette’s point that there aren’t “contract police” that automatically enforce contracts. If you don’t trust the person signing, then it’s probably best just not to deal with them in the first place. Suing them could easily be more cost and hassle than it’s worth.

It sounds like your employer is trying to circumvent Dutch law regarding employee rights. Is that correct? I’m inferring that Dutch law prevents an employer from hiring temps indefinitely in what should be a permanent job. He is claiming that he doesn’t want to make you a permanent/tenure-tracked/whatever-the-dutch-term-is employee because “the economy is too unreliable”. Is it really difficult there for an employer to lay-off a permanent employee? I can believe it would be illegal to lay-off a permanent employee to hire a temp to fill the job at a lower payrate, but I do not believe that it is difficult to lay-off any employee when the workload is reduced.

Is there any reason to believe that your performance is less than adequate? Is there any reason to believe that the entire business process may be re-evaluated thus making your current position unnecessary? If the answer is no to either of those questions, would it be fair to assess the only reason your employer doesn’t want to hire you permanently is to disregard the law?

If your employer’s motives are dodgy, you can’t trust him to be true to his promise of a position in 3 months. I’d like to say that you should report him but I know that is more hassle than it’s probably worth. And that it’s a matter of “he said” versus “he said”.

What happens if you get fired? How generous would your unemployment benefits be? If you resign do you qualify for unemployment? In my opinion, if by resigning you do not qualify for unemployment benefits, I’d document this offer, then I’d let him fire me. I don’t know how unemployment works over there, but here if you are fired with cause you do not qualify for unemployment benefits. So if unemployment benefits work similarly over there, I’d use the documentation to try to contest any attempt he might make at preventing you from drawing unemployment should he assert that the firing was due to your performance.

My advice would be to move to a country with less retarded labor laws.

Perhaps Belgium.

eye kan reed gude. :rolleyes:

If, after three months, the big boss changes his mind and declines to hire you, what sort of position would that put you in? Just because you have a piece of paper with some writing on it doesn’t mean BB will say, “Sorry about that, here’s a big pile of money.”

Q: Any chance what you get in writing can be spun into a letter of recommendation? Something that looks good attached to a resume? My opinion might not be worth a nickle, but it looks like this job is toast, even if you do collude to break the law
(works well in M.U.L.E.; real life, not so much).

+1 to the opinion your boss isn’t the “Ooooh! I’m not afraid of criminal law, but I’ll soil my pants over contract law!” kind of ‘upstanding citizen’.

‘Ethics’ isn’t a county in the UK spoken by someone with a lisp.

It sounds like you are going to leaving the temp job, one way of the other.

  1. keep looking, during your 3 months away, just in case things don’t work out
  2. when it comes to negotiating the 1 year or longer contract, be sure that everyone reallizes that you are both already trained and already a proven good thing. If they had to replace you or the retiring employee, they would have to train them and then hope that person is a good fit. So don’t be afraid to ask for a bit more money then a brand new person would get. You should be making considerably more then you are temping. Don’t settle for “You were making $X, so we will offer you $X again.”
  3. try to negotiate your way into at least whatever perks that longer term employees get. Does vacation time go up? Retirement plans, Health care? Don’t let them start you out as a person new in the door. They benefit by hiring you, you should benefit too.

I don’t know Dutch law, but is it possible to get an offer/contract now, with a future start date?

Just for some more general info; dutch labor laws are notorious for protecting workers, but also causing problems for businesses. To me this scenario sounds totally plausible. Once you give somebody a ‘vast contract’, which is a contract for indefinite length it is very difficult to let them go, so often businesses will try to get around giving people these contracts and give them 1, 3 or 5 year contracts instead. I even know of businesses that let people go after 3 of these contracts (eventough they are good at what they do), just beacsue they don’t want to be stuck with these permanent contracts.

So if the company wants to use this loophole to give you a job, they will other wise temp out again: go for it.

Sound like the big issue is that you’ll leave train a new man, then when the other worker retires, you shoud get that job. But you’ll be out the door while that new guy you trained is still there.

You know “out of sight and out of mind” type of thing, so this new guy you trained can step into it.

Now how does Dutch unemployment law work. For example here in the states, if you were to volunteer to leave a job, you usually (though not always) cannot get unemployment.

Would you leaving this temp job deny you any ability to get benefits? (I used to work with some people from the Netherlands, and they all told me the Dutch have good benefits)

Bottom line is you have to figure out what this employer is trying to do? What is he trying to get around? And finally remember any employer would fire you without thinking, so do what is BEST for you NOW. The economy is tough all over the world and you need to look after number 1 at all costs

If it works like “avoiding making the temp permanent” would work in Spain, he’s not leaving: his contract is ending, therefore he gets some unemployment when it doesn’t get renewed. The contract is not going to be renewed in any case; the company is asking him to “book the last dance for them.” Of course, without a paper (which can be taken to Labor aka the Contract Police), either part may decide to leave the party with someone else.

What they’re doing is say “we love you but we don’t want to make you perma; since we’re required to make perma anybody who’s been here for X length of consecutive time, we need you to take a long-enough break to be able to claim that your time here is non-consecutive.”

Under the previous edition of the Spanish temp-workers law, many companies would rotate employees’ agencies. The smarter ones would hire the employee after the Christmas vacation with Our Little Temp, fire them for Easter, hire them back after Easter with Temps’r’Us… The current law made that kind of rotations and breaks count as “consecutive employment.”

I’ve rejected jobs in the Netherlands because apparently the kind of contract I want isn’t acceptable. I suspect it’s a problem of not being acceptable to the people at the agencies, who usually don’t know the laws of the countries they work with, but whatever. I mean, I’m reasonably sure that a law saying “a Dutch company can’t hire a foreign single-person company” would be against EU-level law…