Older ‘paper boys’ set to lose their jobs thanks to new rules

Older people who deliver free newspapers and advertising material will lose their jobs if the government brings in new laws forcing employers to pay them the minimum wage, sector organisation DDMA said on Tuesday.

Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher wants to bring in new legislation to ensure that people on flexible contracts are paid the adult minimum wage.

According to the DDMA, some 15,000 people over the age of 23 deliver leaflets and freesheets, but are paid the same wage as a teenager. If the change becomes law, they will cost three times as much as a teenager and will have to be let go, the DDMA says.

Social activity

‘Many older people like delivering leaflets because it keeps them busy, they meet people and get exercise,’ a spokesman told news agency ANP. ‘You will end up with the same situation as in supermarkets, where only youngsters are taken on.’

 A spokesman for the minister said the minimum wage existed to ensure a decent labour market. ‘It did not used to apply to everyone but soon will,’ the spokesman said. ‘People delivering post should have the same rights as everyone in the labour market.’

Parliament will debate Asscher’s proposals on Thursday.

The Netherlands has some 40 companies involved in door-to-door advertising material distribution and some 90,000 delivery workers. Three-quarters are aged 13 to 17, ANP said.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation