Some 12,000 women apply for maternity pay compensation

Some 12,000 women who had babies while working as freelancers have so far made a claim for compensation for maternity pay, the UWV benefit payments agency said on Tuesday. Women who were self employed between May 2005 and June 2008 are entitled to claim €5,600 for each pregnancy following a court ruling. At that time there was no maternity statutory pay for freelancers but the country's highest administrative court ruled last year that this conflicted with the UN treaty on women's rights. This forced the government to set up a compensation scheme. Women have until the end of September to make a claim and the UWV expects some 20,000 to do so.   More >

Kitchen sink subsidy cuts have an effect

The spending gap between single and dual income families widened considerably between 2006 and 2016, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday. The disposable income of single salary households went down, while dual earning families now have more to spend, the CBS said. Between 2006 and 2011, the average disposable income of dual salary families rose 1.5% while single salary family incomes fell 2%. But the increase was most marked in the second five-year period, when dual salary families had 5% more to spend and single income families lost a further 1%. The switch is due to deliberate government policy to encourage more women to go out to work and to end the so-called 'kitchen sink' tax breaks which benefited women who did not work. And according to figures from the government's macro-economic think-tank CPB, this has had an effect. In 2006 there were three times as many dual income and single income families, but by 2016, dual salary families outstripped the others by four to one. In total in 2016, in 2.3 million couples both partners worked while 610,000 families relied on one income. The CBS research also showed 15% of single income families had financial problems, twice as high as percentage among families with two incomes. The current four-party coalition includes two Christian parties - the CDA and ChristenUnie - both of which are keen to see more support for single income households.  More >

Managers, teachers put in most overtime

The fast-growing Dutch economy and the increasing tightness of the jobs market have combined to put more pressure on workers, the national statistics office CBS reported on Tuesday. Corporate managers and teachers topped the list of those who put in overtime, the study revealed. In both 2013 and 2017, 56% of managers regularly chalked up overtime hours. In the teaching profession, 45% said they worked overtime. On average, 33.6% of all those with a fixed work contract said they put in some extra hours in 2017. People in the services sector worked the least overtime.  Catering staff and cleaners are generally paid by the hour, the report noted. Somewhat surprisingly, 34% of all workers in the 2017 study said they never put in extra hours at their jobs: 37% of women and 31% of men. The average overtime for those who did work extra hours was six hours a week for those who regularly stayed late in the office and three hours for those who did so irregularly. Teachers ‘ A Dutch teacher spends 900 hours teaching students, this compares with 600 hours in Finland, ‘ a spokesman for teachers support group Stichting Leekracht told public broadcaster NOS. ‘So it does not surprise us that Dutch teachers are overworked. Everyone wants something from a teacher - students, parents, management, school inspectors.  There are countless reports to be completed as well,’ he said.  More >

Sacked bankers find it hard to get new job

People who have lost their positions in the banking and insurance industry are finding it tough to land a new job, the Financieele Dagblad said on Thursday, quoting figures from the state jobs centre UWV. Only 27% of the people who lost their financial services sector jobs in 2016 were back in work after a year, compared to the average industry-wide figure of 63%. In 2014, 38% of former bankers had found jobs within 12 months. The financial services sector employed 288,000 people in 2005.  The number is projected to fall to 222,000 by 2020. Digitalisation and automation made inroads on banking sector jobs, the FD said. Moreover, only 10% of people aged 50 and older found new jobs. Both ING and ABN Amro told the paper they ran schemes to retrain redundant workers for jobs elsewhere in the bank. ‘If any task it easy to digitize, then it’s only a question of time before that happens,’ said De Unie union spokesman Emanuel Geurts.  More >

KLM pilots reject latest pay package

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 >