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Welfare 'volunteers' to take over some home help jobs

Friday 28 December 2012

Some home helps in Rotterdam are to be replaced by welfare benefit claimants doing ‘voluntary work’, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Rotterdam city council is to require people considered to be hard to place to do compulsory volunteer work, the paper says, and this will include doing shopping and ironing for the housebound.

Ultimately, 10% of the work traditionally done by paid home helps should be done by welfare claimants, the council says. The council is responsible for home help services and is planning a major reorganisation this year following a government budget cut.


Although council official Marco Florijn told the paper the scheme is not supposed to replace paid jobs, unions are worried.

‘The council is going to use welfare claimants as free labour to replace paid jobs,’ FNV official Wim van der Hoorn told the paper. ‘This is a loss of employment.’

Further cuts are expected in 2014 when home help services will be reduced still further as part of government policy.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

AS long as they don't take away from someone job,I don't think that's a bad idea. They should have to do something to receive their benefits. I hope they (the hard to place folks) do it with the right attitude towards the folks they have to do it for. Working, doing anything, is better then sitting home,

By dee | 28 December 2012 4:17 PM

Frankly there is quite a number of extremely low motivated "volunteers". Thus their possible failures must be insured. And probably there is a need to set a barrier for crimes.
Unions should better worry about qualified jobs: their growth and larger education rates among youth.

By Max | 28 December 2012 5:39 PM

Excellent to volunteer in general. In New York City there is one volunteer group that goes around to inner city buildings that have no elevators and they lift people in wheelchairs down to the street so they can be outside, then at the end of the day, back up. Volunteering will be very big in all countries in the future and will solve many of societies challenges.

By NLbikeRider | 28 December 2012 11:22 PM

'Compulsory volunteer work'

'Something wrong with this sentence: omit the word 'volunteer', otherwise it's just nonsense!

An honest statement would read thus: people that have no unemployment benefit & have no choice but to claim social security will have to take any job going in order to survive.

People working for a monthly income of around €750,pm.. while their counterparts earns €1,200, or more? (Subtle form of slave labor, well done!)

'Still better than picking asparagus for €5,per hour. :P

By The visitor | 29 December 2012 12:24 PM

The problem with these plans is that these "volunteers" don't get paid the regular amount of money for such jobs: instead, they only do so to keep their welfare which is (much) lower (and even: others don't have to "volunteer").

I'm all for welfare receivers to have to work. But then they should also receive a loan instead of welfare.

By Someone | 29 December 2012 11:51 PM

Correction to my previous post: I of course mean "wage" instead of "loan" (always thinking too much about the Dutch word "loon").

By Someone | 29 December 2012 11:52 PM

I agree that Union should worry about whether the gov can create enough meaningful jobs rather than whether jobs will be taken away. I also understand that there is a shortage for home help so getting people on unemployment welfare to do some of the tasks is a good idea.

By ufo | 31 December 2012 9:21 AM

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