Semi-fit more likely to lose their jobs

Workers with a minor handicap are losing their jobs in large numbers, according to a survey by the labour research foundation. Of the thousands of people officially classified as 35% unfit to work, almost two-thirds have been sacked by the time their two-year period of sick pay is up, the organisation says.

But when new incapacity benefit rules were introduced last year, employers agreed to keep on people with a minor handicap. Under the new system, workers whose disability is less than 35% are no longer entitled to incapacity benefit (WIA).
On Monday René Paas, chairman of the CNV trade union federation, accused employers of not doing enough to keep semi-fit staff in suitable jobs. He claimed over half of those sacked wanted to work. It is a ‘social scandal’ that employers moan about not being able to fill vacancies while there are almost one million people looking for work, he said.
However, employers’ organisation VNO-NCW told news agency ANP that the situation is complicated when it comes to employing partially disabled staff: ‘Small firms in particular find it hard to come up with more suitable work’.
The Netherlands has struggled for years with reforming its incapacity benefit system. By the mid-1990s, around one million people were claiming WAO benefits. Last year, this was replaced by the WIA which includes tougher health checks for would-be claimants.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation