Government to make it easier for pensioners to remain in employment

It will be easier for pensioners to remain in employment if they wish. At present they often have to work through a temporary employment agency or as a self-employed person after they reach state pension age. The government wants to make it easier for them to continue working under a contract of employment. The easier this is, the longer society can benefit from their experience and know-how. Pensioners can in turn enjoy the benefits of daily activity and additional income.

The cabinet has agreed to a proposal by Minister Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment, Minister Opstelten of Security and Justice and Minister Plasterk of the Interior and Kingdom Relations that pensioners will be subject to the collective labour agreement in place for the sector in which they are employed and will be entitled to at least the minimum wage. They currently do not have these rights.

To encourage employers to take on pensioners, the obligation to pay salary during sickness will be reduced from two years to six weeks, partly because pensioners are not entitled to the work and income benefit scheme. Employers say this obligation is a major barrier to their keeping pensioners in employment or taking them on. The measures should come into effect on 1 January 2016.

To prevent pensioners replacing other workers, employers will be obliged to make pensioners redundant first in the event of a reorganisation. Furthermore, they will not be obliged to agree to a pensioner’s request for more working hours at the expense of other employees. Pensioners receive the state pension and do not rely solely on a salary to support themselves. Most pensioners already have an income and prefer flexibility to a full-time job.

Under the Work and Security Act, an employer can end an employment contract when an employee reaches state pension age without recourse to the Employee Insurance Agency or the courts and without having to make a transitional payment. Ordinary redundancy rules will apply if a pensioner is subsequently offered an open-ended employment contract.