Take this job or lose your unemployment benefit

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 https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

Hundreds of unemployed people in the western part of the Netherlands have been bussed to greenhouses in Westland in search of a job. The initiative is the brainchild of the Westland municipality and two temp agencies.

They were responding to a call from the Minister of Social Affairs, Henk Kamp, to force unemployed people to find work. In future, if unemployed people are able to work, they will be required to apply for a job. Otherwise their unemployment benefits will be cut by 30% to 100%.
The unemployed people were required to take part in Monday's excursion. If not, their benefits would also have been reduced. It’s unclear whether the obligatory excursion will actually lead to people getting jobs in greenhouses. Many of the greenhouse employers prefer to hire Poles or other East Europeans because they’re hard-working, careful and motivated.