Let companies pay for dole - union leader

11th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

11 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Companies rather than the government should pay unemployment benefit to sacked workers, the deputy leader of the largest trade union group in the Netherlands has suggested.

11 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — Companies rather than the government should pay unemployment benefit to sacked workers, the deputy leader of the largest trade union group in the Netherlands has suggested.

Ton Heerts of the FNV told newspaper 'De Volkskrant' that firms should initially have to pay the dole (known as WW in Dutch) for six months. In the long run they would have to cover the entire WW period.

The length of the period is dependent on the employee's age and number of years worked. The minimum is six months and the maximum is five years.

Heerts cited the success of the Ziektewet (Sickness Act) and new rules in relation to people unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness. The number of people off work and receiving incapacity benefit has fallen dramatically since companies have been made to bear the costs.

Firms have the option of paying disability benefit directly or taking out insurance to cover work-related disability.

Heerts contended the same should happen in relation to the WW unemployment benefit. This would encourage companies to go for the cheaper option of paying for re-training and job search programmes, he said.

And, such a reform would make it possible to eventually take the WW system out of the hands of the public payments agency UWV and privatise it.

His call is supported by a manifesto signed by representatives of the trade union movement, as well as prominent figures in business and public administration.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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