New plans will turn pensioners into cheap labour, say critics

New plans by caretaker social affairs minister Henk Kamp will make it cheaper for employers to take on pensioners to the detriment of older workers, reports the Volkskrant on Tuesday.

Kamp wants to limit paid sick leave to six weeks for working pensioners, rather than the two years which apply to all other workers, and to give them the right to the minimum wage.
According to Kamp, the short period of paid sick leave and the minimum wage are not a problem, because people will have their state and other pensions to live off.

Temporary contracts

He also wants to allow employers to offer an unlimited number of temporary contracts to the over-65s. For other workers, the ruling is that after three temporary contracts, they must be offered a permanent job.
The organisation for older people ANBO says these moves will lead to an upheaval in the job market, reports the paper. Workers will be automatically fired when reaching the age of 65 and can then agree to stay on under the new pay and conditions.
‘It will lead to pensioners becoming cheaper than workers between 55 and 65, who are expensive because they have built up their pay and conditions rights,’ the ANBO said.
A preference for a pensioner over an older member of staff will be strengthened by plans in the five-party alliance package to relax the laws on dismissal, says the paper.
Kamp’s proposals have been agreed by the cabinet but must be debated and voted on by parliament in order to become law. The Netherlands will vote for a new government on September 12.

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