Sunday 19 January 2020

Chemicals companies should be allowed to drug test employees, says minister

Chemicals companies should be allowed to drug test employees, says minister

The Dutch government wants to make it possible for chemicals companies to test their employees for drug and alcohol use. Social affairs junior minister Tamara van Ark has proposed that privacy rights be waved for more companies where intoxicated workers would cause significant safety risks. Already, pilots, train drivers and police officers can be checked by their employers. Van Ark said in a government news statement: ‘Employees working in an organisation under the influence of alcohol or drugs incur safety... More >

Doorstep grenade 'aimed at fruit firm'

A live grenade recovered from outside a block of flats may have been left as a warning to a local fruit and veg trader. The device in Kerkdriel was made safe by the explosives disposal team (EOD) on Monday morning. Brabants Dagblad initially said the mayor of Maasdriel, Henny van Kooten, who lives in the building, was the likely target because of his pro-active stance on organised crime. RTL Nieuws later reported that police were investigating the possibility that the... More >

Interpreters suspend court and police work

Hundreds of interpreters are going on strike in protest against government plans to cut costs by opening up the sector to less qualified competitors. Around 1,500 interpreters are suspending all work for the courts, police and immigration service. The action will affect large numbers of cases because people who appear before the courts or deal with the IND have a legal right to follow proceedings in a language they understand. The strike is in response to justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus’s... More >

Stop attacking judges - legal chief to MPs

Politicians should take responsibility for their own laws and stop pointing at judges who make rulings they disagree with, the chairman of the Dutch council for the judiciary has said in his traditional New Year’s speech. ‘Stop hiding behind our robes and take responsibility for the law-making and decision-taking which is apparently falling short,’ Henk Naves said in his speech. While there is nothing wrong with politicians criticising judges, Naves said he missed support from others who did not agree.... More >

More aldermen lose their jobs in 2019

At least 126 local authority aldermen and women lost their jobs last year as city and town council coalitions collapsed, according to new research published on Thursday. The tally, made by local authority information platform DeCollegetafel and commissioned by the civil servants’ magazine Binnenlands Bestuur, shows 2019 was the worst year for aldermen losing their jobs since 2002, when a new law divided administrative and executive tasks in local councils. A further 75 aldermen stepped down in 2019 because they... More >

Attempted arson attack on Islamic school

Amsterdam’s Islamic secondary school, the Cornelis Haga Lyceum, was the target of an attempted arson attack the night before pupils returned after the holidays, according to school leaders. Director Soner Atasoy told NRC that vandals appeared to have thrown a brick through a classroom window and poured flammable liquid over the teacher’s chair. A canister of accelerant fluid was found in the playground. The school has been the focus of controversy last year over its teaching methods, with education minister... More >

Dutch mission in northern Iraq to continue

The Netherlands is ‘closely studying’ the Iraqi parliament declaration against the presence of troops from other countries in Iraq, the foreign ministry has confirmed to Dutch media. The Netherlands is part of the international coalition against IS in Iraq and is involved in a training mission in the north of the country. Some 60 Dutch soldiers are currently in Iraq, according to defence ministry figures. At the weekend, Iraqi MPs passed a resolution calling for foreign troops to leave the... More >

Online businesses urged to act on debt

Finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has urged online retailers to tighten up their credit procedures to stop consumers falling into a spiral of debt. In a letter to parliament, Hoekstra did not rule out legislating to restrict the use of credit for online sales to customers who are already in debt. One in five people classed as having ‘problematic debts’ owes money to a webshop or similar business, NOS reported. The minister acknowledged that retailers had taken steps to limit access,... More >