Salaries in the public and semi-public sector are to be restricted to a maximum of 130% of a government minister’s pay packet under new legislation passed unanimously by the senate on Tuesday evening.
The new law, which has been 10 years in the making, effectively seals top pay scales in the public sector at around €190,000.
The legislation also fixes golden handshakes in the public sector at a maximum €75,000 and bans bonuses, profit sharing schemes and other forms of performance-related pay.
Across the board
The new rules will cover all government departments, plus the healthcare system, housing corporations, education and other public sector bodies. Voluntary agreements are already in place in most areas but are widely flouted.
For example, in September the Financieele Dagblad reported one third of housing corporation chiefs earned more than the maximum agreed for public sector officials.
Of the 285 pay packages which came under the spotlight, 83 broke the official pay barrier. And 25% of the big earners were in charge of small institutions with fewer than 10,000 houses, the paper said.
The new cabinet has plans to reduce the upper limit in line with a ministerial salary at a later date.
A Dutch government minister earns €144,000 a year plus expenses.
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