Never too old to work

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

The Dutch Social Affairs and Employment Minister has presented proposals that would make it easier for companies to hire senior citizens. Many businesses are reluctant to hire older people because of the Netherlands' stringent employment laws.

Dutch companies have to pay employees who fall sick, for instance, two years' pay. Under Minister Henk Kamp's proposal, senior citizens who became ill would only receive six weeks' pay. In addition, senior citizens could be given more than three temporary contracts, something which businesses are normally barred from doing.

According to the minister, the measures are needed because of the economic crisis and the aging Dutch population.