Wanted: old HR teams to learn new age-neutral tricks

Wanted: old HR teams to learn new age-neutral tricks

Older workers are frequently discriminated against in job adverts, according to a new report from the Dutch human rights council. It claims that 40,000 to 60,000 job adverts that it studied discriminated against older people by specifying things like wanting ‘a starter’, ‘a student’, 'young hound' or even ‘people from 18 to 35’. ‘Age discrimination is a problem that has a big impact on older people seeking work, and it begins with job adverts,’ it notes. The organisation looked at 1.8 million recent adverts to investigate the ways older job seekers might be excluded from even applying. Last year, 60% of the long-term unemployed were over 45. It is, however, illegal for employers to discriminate against people because of their age, directly or indirectly.  More >

KLM pilots reject latest pay package

Tight labour market helps negotiating position of KLM pilots They are among the best-paid pilots in the world, but KLM fliers remain dissatisfied with the new pay-and-conditions package worked out by the airline and the VNV pilots union. On Tuesday, a majority of KLM’s 2,800 pilots rejected the package. They are demanding less work pressure and claim they get little in return from KLM, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday. Work pressure has increased in recent years and so have complaints from the cockpit. ‘I’ll be the first to admit it: we have an excellent salary package with free time and pension worked into it,’ said a pilot who has been with KLM for nearly 30 years. ‘But you notice the fatigue, there’s a lot of talk about that.’ Under pressure from increased competition from budget airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair, KLM CEO Pieter Elbers has worked hard to increase productivity at the Dutch flag carrier. This includes with the pilots. In the past they had three or even four days to recover after an intercontinental flight.  This has now been cut back to two and the roster is much tighter. Pilot shortage The negotiation is being played out against a background of a small pilot market in Europe, where there is even a shortage of staff. KLM City Hopper had to cancel several flights earlier this week when there were not enough pilots due to an outbreak of flu. KLM rival Ryanair scrapped 1,100 flights in June due to a shortage of pilots. Cabin crew of the Dublin-based carrier have set 48-hour strikes in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium in late July. European airlines now have hundreds of job vacancies so, says the Financieele Dagblad, KLM has to try to lighten pressure at work. It has to attract new pilots and retrain existing staff for new functions before next summer. This will only make contract talks more difficult, given the tight pool of pilots. It is not known whether Dutch King Willem-Alexander, who last year stopped flying as a guest co-pilot on the KLM Cityhopper service, has yet completed his Boeing 737 training to strengthen the ranks.  More >

CBS: 30,000 Dutch jobs moved abroad

30,000 Dutch jobs moved abroad, mainly to cut salary costs More than 500 Dutch companies employing 50 or more people, moved one or more of their activities outside the country between 2014 and 2016, resulting in a shift of 30,000 jobs, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday. Companies with a non-Dutch parent were most likely to move jobs outside the Netherlands, the CBS said. More than 250 companies moved administrative and management functions abroad. And roughly 220 firms shifted core activities, production or delivery to new locations outside the Netherlands. These included not only factory jobs but also those in design and maintenance. Another 5,700 jobs were lost in services and supporting IT functions. The major reason for moving jobs outside the country was lower salary costs. Nearly 70% of the jobs were moved to other EU countries, although 20% were shifted to India. At the same time, 100 companies moved certain activities back to the Netherlands. Of these activities 60% were in production and more than 23% in administrative and management functions, the CBS added. The most important reasons for this were insufficient quality of the goods or services produced abroad and higher-than-expected costs.  More >

UWV: vacancies in nearly all sectors

Gardeners, window cleaners, nurses? There are plenty of jobs for you There are job vacancies in nearly every sector of the Dutch economy the state-run jobs centre UWV reported on Wednesday. A few years ago, job vacancies were largely in engineering and IT, but there are now staff shortages in far more sectors of the economy - from gardeners, window cleaners, and truck drivers to health care, the UWV said. The construction industry is running at full speed, call centres are seeking more help and even the tight financial services industry needs more staff. In some sectors the shortages are limited to those with university degrees. But staff at all levels is being sought in most sectors. Nearly one out of every five companies in the Netherlands is seeking new employees, twice the level of last year. The UWV puts this into perspective:  while job vacancies are indeed high they have not yet reached the level set 10 years ago, it said. The Dutch official unemployment rate is currently 3.9%.  More >

No fines for firms with bogus freelancers

Not one Dutch firm has been fined for employing ‘bogus’ freelancers Not one company in the Netherlands has been fined in the past two years for employing bogus freelancers - people who are treated as self-employed but in reality work for one company - according to research by the NRC. The tax office has started 49 investigations into possible abuse of the rules governing self-employment but 38 failed to produce enough evidence and 11 are still underway, the paper said. Maurice Limmen, chairman of the CNV trade union federation, has described the figures as 'very sad'. 'This proves what we have been saying for a long time,' he said. 'Tackling exploitation via bogus self employment has been left to go its own way. People who are being exploited should expect nothing from politicians.' It is cheaper for companies to employ freelancers because they don't have to pay pension and other premiums on their behalf and can get round redundancy regulations. Research by the OECD suggests some 15% of people in the Netherlands who are officially self-employed are actually employed by the company they work for because, for example, they only have one place of work and have fixed hours. MPs are due to debate the rise in self-employment with social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees on Wednesday  More >