Nearly three-quarters of Dutch women still work part time

Dutch women are working slightly more hours a week, particularly after the birth of children but are still European champions at part time jobs, according to a new report. Between 2015, when the last Emancipation Monitor was published, and 2017, the number of hours worked by women a week went up from an average of 27 to 28. The monitor is compiled by the national statistics agency CBS and the SCP government think-tank. In 2007, 40% of women worked the same number of hours after the birth of a child, but that has now gone up to 60%. 'Women are still more likely to have a part time job before they get pregnant but they are picking it up again after the birth,' SCP researcher Wil Portegijs said. 'One reason for this could be that it is easier to use childcare facilities.' The increase in the number of hours worked by women means that more mothers are now economically independent. In 2007, 54% of mothers could stand on their own two feet financially but that has now risen to 66%. Nevertheless, the Netherlands still leads Europe in terms of part time jobs. In total, 74% of women work part time, compared with an an EU average of 31%. But in terms of spending time taking care of children, parents in the Netherlands spent a similar amount of time as elsewhere in Europe.  More >

Pay gap unchanged, revised figures show

The wage gap between men and women did not shrink between 2014 and 2016 but young women do now earn more than young men in the early stages of their career, according to new calculations by national statistics office CBS. The new figures are corrected for factors such as level of education, work experience and working hours and show no change in the size of the wage gap between men and women. Uncorrected figures published earlier show the public sector wage gap had gone down from 10% to 8% and in the private sector from 20% to 19%. In the public sector, women earn more than their male colleagues up to the age of around 36, the CBS said. In the private sector, women outstrip men in earnings up to the age of 26, but men really start to widen the gap from the age of 32. Gender pay gap: meet the lawyer training women to ask for more The difference in pay can partly be explained by the different jobs men and women traditionally do. For example, if men and women are doing the same job, the difference in pay is 17%, and if they are both in leadership roles, the difference drops again to 15%, the CBS said. Taking factors such as experience and working full or part time into account, the pay gap shrinks again to 7%, the CBS said. Differences which have not been factored in include the impact of career breaks to raise children, absentee rates and straightforward discrimination. Just 25% of Dutch women have a full time job.  More >

Job vacancies reach new record

The number of job vacancies in the Netherlands reached 262,000 at the end of September, a new record high, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday. With unemployment shrinking to 3.8%, there is now one vacancy for every 1.3 workers - compared with seven vacancies at the end of the economic crisis in 2013. Demand is highest for people working in trade and retail, business services and healthcare the CBS said.   More >

Lower pay demand no help to older jobless

Despite the economic revival and the mounting shortage of staff in some sectors, the over 50s still find it hard to get a look-in, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday. Even if the over 50s lower their salary expectations, companies still don't want to employ them, research using information gleaned from the government's socio-cultural think-tank SCP has found. 'If older workers mention their previous salary, employers think they are too expensive,' Utrecht University professor Joop Schippers told the paper. 'But if they ask for a more modest salary, employers begin to think something is not right and that the candidate does not believe he or she are right for the job.' Schippers studied the experiences of hundreds of people who took part in the SCP's biennial labour market report. He found that older workers apply for jobs just as much as younger people and are prepared to reduce their salary expectations, but they are still less likely to get a job. Even if someone over the age of 55 is prepared to cut their salary demand by 25% their chance of getting a job only rises from 17% to 24%, Schippers found. Figures from the national jobs agency UWV show that half the over 50s who lose their jobs are out of work for more than a year, compared with one third of the workforce in general. Schippers' research will be published in the academic journal Tijdschift voor Arbeidsvraagstukken shortly, the Telegraaf said.  More >

'New labour law plans won't work'

Draft legislation aimed at restoring the balance between permanent and flexible employment contracts will not tackle the problem, according to a review by the Council of State. The council is the government's most senior advisory body and advises on all draft legislation. In its response, the council says the government's plans are 'inadequate' and 'could easily lead to new problems elsewhere in the labour market'. Social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees says the new draft legislation will encourage companies to take on more permanent members of staff. The number of people on flexible contracts has soared in recent years and the new government has pledged to tackle the differences between permanent and flexible employment contracts. The aim of the legislation is to reduce the legal gap between working as an employee or as a temporary worker, Koolmees said at the plan's presentation on Wednesday. To this end, the rules for sacking staff have been relaxed while the period temporary staff can work on short contracts will be extended from two to three years. The changes to redundancy law will allow firms to sack staff after a string of minor misdemeanours rather than one major fail. In addition, maximum trial period that a new employee can be required to work will go up from two to five months. Companies will also get a discount on unemployment benefit premiums if they take on permanent rather than temporary members of staff. Fundamental However, the council said it its recommendations that it will take a fundamental and broader approach to bridge the gap between temporary and permanent jobs. This will require tackling 'labour law, the social security system and tax system', the council said.  More >

More women in high earning category

Women now account for one in five very high earners at big Dutch organisations, up from 15% in 2010, according to new research from the national statistics office CBS. The CBS looked at companies and organisations with a workforce of at least 500 and studied the composition of the highest earners - the top 0.2%. In total, around 6,600 people were included in the study. In healthcare, where women fill 84% of the jobs, women accounted for 30% of the highest earners, well above the average, the CBS said. In construction and other areas where men dominate the workforce, women held just 4% of the best paid jobs. The CBS said the fact that women are more likely to work part-time has an impact on their earnings potential. Almost all the high earners in the research group worked full time, including 95% of the best paid women.  More >

Migrant workers not a risk to Dutch jobs

Migrant workers only rarely take jobs which were being done by the native Dutch population, according to new research by the government's socio-cultural policy think-tank SCP. 'Older and younger workers do not appear to displace each other from the labour market, but rather complement each other,' the SCP said. 'Most of the scientific literature on migration also offers no evidence of migration-induced displacement.' However, political measures to steer the labour market may lead to some displacement, as some categories benefit from wage cost subsidies or individual guidance to help them find work more quickly, the SCP said. The think-tank said that although its analyses shows there is no clear evidence of displacement on the Dutch jobs market, people do feel that their chances of finding work have reduced as a result of an influx of the new groups of potential workers. 'After losing their job, some interviewees have found that it is not easy to find work,' the SCP said. 'They believe that displacement by new groups on the labour market plays a role in this, along with competition from other groups already present on the jobs market, technological change and a more flexible labour market.' The SCP does say that people who are in direct competition for jobs with immigrants may lose out. 'Migrants often have a below-average education level, which means they compete for jobs with low-skilled manual workers,' the SCP said. Nevertheless, the negative effects for low-skilled workers are mainly short-term because they occur during the first few years after the arrival of migrants, the SCP said.   More >