More children in childcare as more Dutch women go out to work

The number of children in some form of daycare continues to rise as more women in the Netherlands go out to work, according to new social affairs ministry figures. In the second three months of this year, 796,000 children spent part of their days in a creche or after school club, the cost of which was partly paid by the government through special child benefit.This is a rise of 17,000 on the first quarter of this year. Of them, 330,000 babies and toddlers are cared for in daycare centres, 371,000 attended after school clubs and 118,000 are looked after by paid childminders. This growth is matched by a rise in the number of women going out to work, the ministry said. In the second quarter of this year, 63% of women aged 15 to 74 had some form of job, a rise of 1.23 percentage points on the same period a year ago.   More >

Dutch work most in evening in EU: research

Almost three in 10 Dutch people sometimes work evenings and one in five work on Sundays, particularly in e-commerce, researchers at Belgium's Leuven university have found. The number of evening workers is much higher than the European average which is 13.7%, the researchers said. And the number of Dutch people working on a Sunday went up by 20% compared to 2006. Flexible shop opening hours and same day delivery of packages contribute to the flexible Dutch economy, the researchers say. ‘It’s partly to do with the rules and regulations. Belgium has very strict rules regarding working in the evenings and on Sundays, and in some instances it is simply not allowed. In the Netherlands the law is more flexible and e-commerce is taking advantage of this,’ Leuven researcher Sarah Vansteenkist told het Parool. The flexible working hours result mainly in low-skilled jobs in the service sector and distribution centres of webshops like or Wehkamp, the paper said. According to labour market expert, Ton Wilthagen flexible laws regarding working hours has enabled economic growth. ‘But that doesn’t mean there are no rules at all. Unlimited night shifts are not allowed here either,’ he said. More women than men work weekends, the research showed. ‘Women work in care more often, which involves working at the weekend, and that will only increase with an ageing population. Teachers, who are predominantly women, prepare for the week at the weekend as well,’ the paper quotes Vansteenkist as saying. Wilthagen said that contrary to night work, working at the weekend and in the evening is not bad for health. ‘If you are happy to work those hours, and most people who do are, then there is no problem,’ he said.  More >

Wages rose an average 2.1% last year

Pay deals agreed in sector-wide talks were up by an average of 2.1% last year, the highest increase since 2009, the national statistics agency CBS said on Thursday. That year the effect of the economic crisis still had to be fully felt and wages rose 2.8%. In 2017, wages rose 1.8%, the highest rise in six years. Unions, economists, prime minister Mark Rutte and the central bank chief have all called for wages to go up because of the improved economic conditions. Workers are also set to keep more of their income this year because of income tax cuts this year. In September, the biggest Dutch trade union federation FNV said it is targeting a pay rise of 5% in the coming round of pay and conditions talks, its biggest demand in 30 years.  More >

Fewer older civil servants, 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.  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 >