Cabinet agrees to cut golden handshakes

Ministers have reached agreement on reducing cash payouts to workers who are made redundant, Dutch newspapers report on Wednesday.

Rather than giving sacked staff a golden handshake based on their years of service, ministers have agreed to set a maximum limit on the size of the payout, sources said.
The AD says workers will be limited to one year’s salary in compensation with a maximum of €90,000. Ministers will decide on the exact terms of the new deal at Friday’s cabinet meeting.
Changes to redundancy law will be discussed at next week’s ‘summit’ between ministers, employers and unions.
Under the current system, employers apply to a magistrates court for a permit to sack staff and agree to pay compensation of one month salary per year of service, rising to 1.5 months for the over-40s and 2 months for the over 50s.
This means it costs a considerable amount to fire older workers with a long period of service and high paid younger staff.
Employers can also apply to job centres (CWI) for a permit to fire workers -this method takes longer but can lead to smaller redundancy payouts.
Ministers have also agreed that employers who offer redundant staff a retraining package can deduct that from the golden handshake, the Financieele Dagblad says.
The deal will be difficult to sell to Labour (PvdA) MPs, the FD points out, because the party vowed not to change redundancy law during the election campaign.
Yesterday Labour leader and finance minister Wouter Bos said there was no question of making it easier to sack staff. ‘We are talking about modernisation and improvements,’ the FD reported Bos as saying.

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