Minister firm on redundancy reform plan

Dutch redundancy law must be reformed to solve problems in the jobs market, social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner told MPs on Wednesday evening.

Speaking during a parliamentary debate on the plans, Donner said research showed many employers will take take on more staff if it is easier to make people redundant.
Donner (Christian Democrat) faces strong opposition to his reforms from the CDA’s two coalition partners Labour (PvdA) and ChristenUnie. In particular the parties oppose Donner’s commitment to ending the role of the courts in assessing redundancies, saying this will weaken protection for workers.
Donner said on Wednesday that there were ‘opportunities’ to ensure both a more flexible approach to redundancy and to protect workers in law, but did not go into further details. The ideas first had to be discussed by the cabinet, he said.
Labour MPs have threatened to cause a cabinet crisis if the plans are not changed. Donner is backed by the free-market VVD and the social democrats D66. His own party has not made its own position clear, news agency ANP reported.
Meanwhile a new poll for the FNV trade union federation shows that opposition to the reforms is growing. Some 59% are now against the reforms, up from 55%. The reforms also include putting a cap on the size of golden handshakes of €100,000 or one year’s salary.

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