Part-time benefit rules tightened up

The rules allowing companies hit by the recession to put staff on part-time unemployment benefits are to be tightened up because some firms are abusing the system, social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner says in Tuesday’s AD.

The minister did not say how many of the hundreds of firms which have applied for the part-time jobless benefit scheme, but a spokesman told the paper it was mainly small firms which were abusing the system.
Both the UWV benefit agency and trade unions have alerted the minister to problems, the paper said.
One case has been referred to the public prosecution department. That involved a company which laid off staff whose wages were paid by the benefit agency and then brought in cheaper, foreign workers.
‘If firms are found to have misused the scheme, they will have to pay back all the unemployment benefit they have had,’ Donner said.
The government has set aside €1bn to fund the programme.

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