FNV approves cuts to WW jobless benefits
11 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — Trade union confederation FNV approved cutbacks on Monday proposed by the Social Economic Council (SER) to the WW unemployment scheme .
11 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — Trade union confederation FNV approved cutbacks on Monday proposed by the Social Economic Council (SER) to the WW unemployment scheme .
FNV approved plans restricting access to jobless benefits only to people who have worked at least 26 weeks from the past 36. That is in comparison with the present 26 from 39 weeks.
The federation council of the FNV rejected the draft resolution a week ago. That proposal involved offering WW benefits to people who have worked 27 weeks out of the past 39.
However, FNV grassroots members said such a deal would exclude people with a half-year contract, a common form of employment in the Netherlands.
The other variant — 26 weeks from the past 39 — will hit flex-time workers hardest because they will need to have worked more in a shorter period of time. Employers primarily want flexible workforces.
The SER brought forward two draft proposals last Friday, namely 27 weeks from the past 39 or 26 weeks from the past 36.
The question of how many weeks a worker needs to have worked in order to come into consideration for unemployment benefits has a sore point for unions and employers.
The Cabinet has asked the SER to come up with a new WW system with employers and unions that will meet the government's economising objectives.
The chance to draw up alternative economising measures in the SER was agreed on with the cabinet last November. Unions and employers hoped to adjust the form of the cabinet's cutbacks to maintain flexibility in the jobs market.
The cabinet is demanding that cuts amount to a saving of 43,000 benefits or EUR 480 million on an annual basis. Unions and employers want to make a definite decision on Friday.
Unions are largely in agreement with SER proposals, but the cabinet fears they will fall short of the demanded savings.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news