Minister’s plan to reduce older workers’ pay slammed

7th December 2009, Comments 1 comment

The Dutch social affairs minister says older workers should have their salaries reduced to better reflect on their lower productivity.

The Hague – Dutch Social Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner’s proposal to ‘demote’ older workers at the end of their careers and decrease their salaries has criticised by Dutch political parties, trade unions and media.

In a report by De Telegraaf, the newspaper said “Dom, Donner!” (Stupid, Donner!) and quoted trade union federation CNV which called the minister’s ideas “stupid” and “hopeless”.

Minister Donner’s proposal was to reduce the pay of ‘expensive’ older workers to reflect their supposedly lower productivity. This would make it more attractive for employers to keep older workers on their payrolls.

The minister added that the salaries of older workers are too high when offset against their productivity.

Donner also said much work needs to be done before the Netherlands is ready for the introduction of the new retirement age of 67 in 2025.

He spoke of the need to increase participation of over 55-year-olds in the labour market: That’s what we need those 10 years for”. And “In countries where people work to a higher age, the development of the wage structure stops at a given point.”

The minister said that the wages of Dutch workers keep increasing at a sharp curve until their retirement. Donner argued the curve should level off at some point to keep it interesting for employers to hire older workers and so increase their participation in the labour market.

However, the CNV said: “There are so many incorrect prejudices against older people. They are supposed to be less productive, too expensive, and so on and so forth. Donner once again confirms that image, whereas we should be fighting against these prejudices and invest in older people instead of writing them off”

The Socialist Party (SP) said the minister launched “an attack on the elderly worker”.

The SP accused Minister Donner of painting an inaccurate picture and made it seemed as though everybody’s salary keeps increasing, but this is not true. A salary scale has a maximum of 10 or 15 rungs. After that, you only get the collective labour agreement increase”.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • proteus posted:

    on 8th December 2009, 16:00:20 - Reply

    Minister Donner does look rather old an unproductive to me...