The cabinet is to press ahead with plans to reform Dutch redundancy law, with or without union support, home affairs minister Piet Hein Donner told MPs on Tuesday evening.
‘The cabinet has come to the conclusion that amendments are necessary to get more people into work,’ Donner said in his memo to MPs.
Donner’s plans, which were leaked last month, involve making it easier for employers to sack staff without recourse to the courts and set a maximum of €75,000 on golden handshake payouts.
In addition, employers will be able to deduct some retraining costs from the payout. All workers will be eligible for one month’s salary per month worked in compensation for losing their jobs, apart from those sacked for financial reasons or wrongdoing.
Unions reacted furiously to the plans. ‘This is only of advantage to employers,’ said FNV spokeswoman Wilna Wind in the Volkskrant.
Labour (PvdA) and ChristenUnie MPs, both part of the coalition government, also reacted angrily. PvdA leader Wouter Bos, now finance minister, made a point during last year’s election campaign of saying redundancy law reform would mean ‘workers would lose their security’.
Unions and employers have until September 1 to respond to the plans.
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