Friday 29 May 2020

Civil service is taking on fewer older workers, figures show


The government wants companies to take on more older unemployed workers but is setting a bad example itself, the Telegraaf reported on Friday.

The number of people over the age of 50 joining the civil service in 2017 actually fell slightly compared with the previous year, the paper said. And the over-50s now make up 11% of the national civil service workforce, down from 15% in 2015.

The figures are particularly remarkable because in 2016, the government allocated €68m to boosting the job opportunities for the older unemployed, the paper points out.

‘Government HR managers are making the same choices as industry,’ said Reinier Catelein, of white collar union De Unie.

Christian Democrat MP Pieter Heerma told the paper that he would raise the issue in parliament. ‘You would expect the government to set a good example,’ he said.

A spokesman for the home affairs ministry, which is in charge of the civil service, said that officials pick ‘the most suitable person’ for the job.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.