Sharp increase in burnouts in the Netherlands

Sharp increase in burnouts in the Netherlands

According to research from Nyenrode University and the digital newspaper, Intermediair, burnouts in the Netherlands are on the rise and one of the culprits is the temporary contract and the job insecurity it brings with it.

Burnout research

Last spring, Nyenrode University and Intermediair asked 72.000 employees who were working in the Netherlands to fill in a survey, on which they reported whether they had had a burnout, and whether this had been confirmed by a company doctor or GP.

The study reports that 15 percent of the Dutch women who filled in the survey, are currently struggling with, or have struggled with, a burnout. Two years ago this figure was only 9,4 percent. The same trend can be seen with Dutch men, for whom burnout figures have grown from 6 percent to 9 percent in the last two years.

Research by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) also concludes an increase in burnout symptoms in the last few years, although said research does not focus on burnouts which have been diagnosed by a doctor. Their research showed rising figures of 12,4 percent in 2013 to 14,6 percent last year.

Temporary contracts in the Netherlands

The research by Nyenrode University and Intermediair suggests that those employed on a permanent contract were less likely to be at risk for a burnout. Other low-risk groups included double-income households and highly educated persons.

Those with job insecurity are more at risk for a burnout. The growth of temporary contracts is thus, in part, to blame for this multiplying number. Another explanation for the number of burnouts could be the growth of the Dutch economy, resulting in more work and more work pressure simultaneously.

Dutch part-time jobs

Occupational Health and Safety Service, ArboNed, also conducted research into stress-related symptoms amongst employees. They specifically looked at the absenteeism at 60.000 small to medium-sized businesses. Of the employees that worked at these businesses, 45 percent had a part-time contract, and of all the employees struggling with stress-related problems, 58 percent had jobs in the Netherlands which were part-time.

From this research, ArboNed concludes that employees with part-time contracts suffer from stress-related problems more often than full-time employees. Whilst the number of people on sick leave remains stable, the percentage of those absent due to stress-related problems is on the up. In 2014, the percentage of employees on leave due to stress was 18 percent. Today this figure is 23 percent.

According to the Health and Safety Service, employees can better work three or five days per week, as working four days per week escalates stress levels.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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