Subsidies to keep older people in work are ‘a waste of time’

Government subsidies aimed at keeping the over-50s in paid employment do not have the desired effect, according to new research by the macro-economic think-tank CPB.

Every year, the state spends some €2bn on bonuses, social security premium discounts, training budgets and other incentives to stimulate companies to employ older staff.
But the total effect of the spending is ‘zero to marginally positive’, the CPB is quoted as saying by Trouw.
One scheme, known as the mobiliteitsbonus, entitles employers to €7,000 if they take on a social security claimant who is over the age of 50, plus a further €14,000 over two years if the employment contract is extended, the paper says.
Yet other research by the SEO institute on behalf of the social affairs ministry, shows this scheme is responsible for some 5,000 jobs a year for the over-50s, at a cost to the treasury of €300m.
In addition, the CPB warns this scheme could lead to older workers losing their jobs and being replaced by people who qualify for the subsidy, particularly if the government presses ahead with plans to reform redundancy law and make it cheaper to sack older staff.
The percentage of over-55s in the workforce has increased in recent years, largely due to the abolition of early retirement schemes.

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