Too many part-time jobs are Dutch economic weakness: OECD

Too many women in the Netherlands work part-time and this is contributing to low labour productivity and less economic growth, OECD secretary-general Yves Leterme tells the AD on Monday.

The former prime minister of Belgium told the AD nearly 77% of Dutch women have a part-time job. Just under one in four works three days a week and 23% work four days a week, Leterme said.

‘Is that really what they want?’ Leterme asked. ‘I don’t know. It could be necessary for women to do so or that companies don’t allow them to take on full-time jobs. Why otherwise would women work more in other, similar countries?’

Financial independence

Last year education minister Jet Bussemaker caused a heated debate when she pointed out just 48% of Dutch women are considered financially independent.

Bussemaker also took women to task for giving up their careers when they have children.

Earlier this year, accountants group PWC published research showing the income gap between men and women in the Netherlands has reduced but remains wide compared with similar countries.

While more generous childcare systems would help encourage women to work more, it is also a luxury issue, PWC economist Jan Willem Velthuijsen told the FD. ‘In Scandinavia, families cannot live on 1.5 salaries but in the Netherlands they can.’

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