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Ethnic Discrimination in the Labour Market: The Dutch Case

Race Discrimination and Management of Ethnic Diversity and Migration at Work

ISBN: 978-1-78714-594-8, eISBN: 978-1-78714-593-1

Publication date: 28 August 2019


One in every five of the almost 17 million inhabitants in the Netherlands is a first- or second-generation migrant. The largest immigrant groups with a non-Western background are Turks Moroccans, Surinamese and Antilleans. Their labour market position is precarious, as is indicated by higher levels of unemployment, larger dependency on temporary (rather than fixed) contracts and lower job levels. Substantial part of the migrants perceives that their weaker position is due to discrimination. Statistical analyses and field experiments show discrimination in hiring and indicate that part of the differential position of migrant workers in the Dutch labour market may be attributed to discrimination as well. At the work floor, migrants experience more discrimination than native Dutch, mostly in the form of hurtful jokes. Research that focuses on more discrimination grounds shows that ethnic background is not the only, nor the most important ground of perceived discrimination. Age and disability are also major grounds of perceived discrimination. Discrimination is a heavily debated topic that polarizes political debate and public opinion. It has shown to have mobilizing powers in politics. The high levels of public attention for the topic not only spurs citizens’ initiatives and governmental policies for combating it but may also facilitate recognition of discriminatory practices resulting in relatively high levels of perceived discrimination within a European context.



Andriessen, I. (2019), "Ethnic Discrimination in the Labour Market: The Dutch Case", Race Discrimination and Management of Ethnic Diversity and Migration at Work (International Perspectives on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 6), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 129-151.



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