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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article28 January 2022European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion4 min read

Seasonal work in the Netherlands: The story of Tomáš and Lívia

In the summer of 2020, Tomáš and his girlfriend Lívia were eager to work abroad in the Netherlands, but were unsure how to make this a reality. The EURES network connected them with Dutch agency Flexible Human Services, who were able to help.

Seasonal work in the Netherlands: The story of Tomáš and Lívia

Finding work abroad

Slovak students Tomáš and Lívia were eager to work in the Netherlands during their 2020 summer break. “Travelling is one of our hobbies,” says Tomáš, “and we want to encourage people of all ages not to be afraid to go abroad to work, which certainly has countless advantages.”

They initially tried contacting a number of agencies looking for seasonal work, but were unsuccessful due to their specific requirements. Eventually, they found EURES Slovakia, who collaborated with EURES The Netherlands to put them in contact with Dutch agency Flexible Human Services. Flexible Human Services arranged eight weeks of work for them with company Triple A Logistics BV in North Holland, starting in July 2020.

Eight weeks in North Holland

Tomáš and Lívia travelled from Slovakia to North Holland by bus and train. “The first week, we got into ‘work mode,” says Tomáš. “Even though the beginning was difficult, after two weeks we had established a good relationship with our team and the boss.”

Tomáš and Lívia chose to work in the Netherlands because of the decent wages, and liberal attitude and tolerance towards foreigners. They were pleased to experience this first-hand. “We felt welcomed,” says Tomáš. “They helped us with everything; when we had a problem, we turned to either the agency, or the company we worked for.”

When they weren’t working, Tomáš and Lívia took the opportunity to explore all that North Holland has to offer. “During the eight weeks, we found time at weekends to take advantage of the modern, beautiful cities and various attractions,” he recalls. “Basically, our plans worked out, and we travelled all over the north of the Netherlands.”

Returning to the Netherlands

After their great experience in 2020, in the summer of 2021, Tomáš and Lívia decided to look for work in the Netherlands again, and were grateful to have the support of EURES. “Our second journey started much easier, as we knew who to turn to,” says Tomáš.

This time, EURES put them in contact with another Dutch agency, Sagius. In June 2021, they travelled to South Holland by bus (their tickets were reimbursed by Sagius) to work for company XPO Logistics.

Communication issues

Unfortunately, on arrival in South Holland, Tomáš and Lívia encountered long delays accessing their accommodation. Furthermore, despite arriving on Sunday, they were not assigned work until the following Thursday.

It eventually became clear that Sagius did not have an established office within XPO Logistics, and so the work was being coordinated via another agency, Adecco. Due to organisational issues at Adecco, over the four weeks that they spent with XPO Logistics, Tomáš and Lívia only worked for 15 days. While this proved frustrating, it did also provide the opportunity to travel around the country. “Since we were now in the south of the Netherlands, we had the opportunity to explore new terrain,” says Tomáš.

Transferring to Rhenus

Subsequently, within a week of these issues being raised with Sagius, Tomáš and Lívia were offered two months’ work for company Rhenus as an alternative. “We had only heard good words about Sagius, and we agreed with them,” says Tomáš. “They knew that we initially had problems, and as a company were already making efforts to communicate better with their employees.”

Tomáš and Lívia were also impressed by the employee benefits they were offered. “We were given employee benefits, just like any other employee in the company; Sagius try to take care of their staff, and this leads to a better team dynamic and more efficient work.”

Advice for other jobseekers

Reflecting on their second summer in the Netherlands, Tomáš is complimentary of the support provided by EURES. “We had another beautiful summer of new experiences,” he says. “We recommend the EURES network, which makes it easier for you to find a job abroad, free of charge.”

Tomáš and Lívia were keen to highlight the support provided by one EURES agent, in particular. “We would especially like to thank Zuzana Kubovičová, who has been in charge of communication, cooperation and exchange of information with Dutch agencies in the EURES network since 2006,” says Tomáš. “Zuzana put our CVs in the hands of the right people, who took good care of us; for this we thank her very much.”

Looking to the future

“We are very happy that clients are coming back to us, even during these hard times,” says Zuzana. “They realise that we can provide the safe placements and free services they need throughout their time working in another European country; I am really happy that our project in seasonal employment with EURES The Netherlands is continuing in 2022, and I look forward to hearing from many more satisfied clients with their success stories.”

Do you want to start your own adventure abroad? Despite the pandemic, our EURES Advisers are standing by to give advice and support jobseekers in finding opportunities around Europe. Contact the EURES Helpdesk to get started today.


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