Netherlands: The disabled and elderly people are facing a hard time on the labour market

The labour market in the Netherlands is developing at an obvious advantage of employers. Data from UWV shows that the number of vacant post decreases, but that the entrepreneurs are able to choose from many candidates. And out of these candidates they never choice elderly and disabled people. Young people, who had longer and higher education and now coming to the labour market, are much more accepted.

The mantra has been a long time the same: employer, the elderly leave, so beware of the coming labour shortage. Employers Association VNO-NCW says that there should be invest in training and keeping staff employable. But in the economic recession companies don’t keep at the elderly policy and they don’t hire disabled people. Also, the period of the temporary contracts are getting longer and the education require of vacant post are getting higher.

In 2011 there were 647,000 filled vacant post, in 12,000 cases a 55-plus-adopted, according to data from UWV. In September last year 5,000 companies surveyed about their jobs. Temporary jobs were not included. The number of elderly accepted is assumed 2% of total vacant post filled. Employees with disabilities scored the same percentage. In absolute numbers it‘s around 10,000 employees

And the anticipating on the future isn’t that well. Only 9% of the companies that employ 55-plus take measures to ensure future scarcity. In 2010 it was 27%. Although it isn’t very strange, because most of the traders have no problems with replacing retirees.

Few employers anticipate on the future. In the short term it’s understandable because a lot of the companies are trying to get through the recession. But on longer term it’s an undesirable development.



3 thoughts on “Netherlands: The disabled and elderly people are facing a hard time on the labour market

  1. Employers do not want to hire workers over 55 years old because young people are more productive. They have more energy and they are more creative. Employers are afraid to hire disabled people for the same reason. They need strong, flexible workers to whom they can always count on. In fact, they might be wrong because sometimes older workers might be more productive (for example through their experience) or disabled people (who want to show in every possible way). The Netherlands should help these two groups of employees. Maybe a good idea would be tax breaks or grants company that employs such workers.

  2. I think this problem does not only exist in the Netherlands, but in a lot of countries all over the world. It is fact that the demographic development is continuing. The population consists more and more of older people. As this is a very big group in the society, politics should pay special attention to it supporting companies to hire and employ older people.On the other hand it is obvious that younger people are preferred. Companies should find a balance between these two groups creating jobs for both of them.


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