Netherlands – MPs reject an increase to the probationary period reports that plans to increase the probation period for new employees in the Netherlands from two to five months in an effort to encourage employers to offer workers a permanent contract will not gain a majority in the Dutch Parliament. The plan, which was proposed by Minister of Social Affairs Wouter Koolmees, has drawn criticism from unions that fear employers could look on the plan as a new form of temporary contract and dismiss a worker at the end of the five months. All four government parties also think the risks of abuse are too great and have said that the two-month probationary period is long enough. The measure is part of a package aimed at reducing the legal gap between working as an employee or as a temporary worker. To this end, the rules for sacking staff have been relaxed while the period temporary staff can work on short contracts will be extended from two to three years. Companies will also get a discount on unemployment benefit premiums if they take on permanent rather than temporary members of staff.