Handicapped employment quota plan under VVD fire

The new cabinet’s plan to bring in a quota system to force firms to employ more handicapped workers needs to be revised, MPs from the ruling VVD Liberal party say.

The coalition agreement includes a plan to impose a 5% quota of less-able workers on companies. This had originally been calculated to mean 100,000 workers, but new calculations give a far higher total – 170,000.

One reason for the higher total is that officials ‘forgot’ to include 40,000 civil service jobs which will need to be done by people with a handicap. Only firms with a workforce of more than 25 will be required to comply, but the exact regulations still have to be worked out.

VVD MPs say the new total is too high. ‘If we manage to place 100,000 people within the next six years, that will be a fantastic performance,’ VVD parliamentarian Sjoerd Potters told the NRC. ‘But if we don’t reach 5%, we should accept that.’

The aim of the quota, which the VVD opposes in principle, is to partly make up for cuts in spending on sheltered work projects for people with a handicap. Employers’ organisations are also against the plan.

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