Pay cap for public officials on temporary contracts

The pay of top officials on temporary contracts in the public and semi-public sectors must be standardised from day one and, after one year, fall under the current norm specified by the Top Incomes (Standardisation) Act. The cabinet has approved a special provision for this category of top officials proposed by Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk.

Under the Top Incomes (Standardisation) Act, the annual salary of top officials in the public and semi-public sectors may not exceed €178,000. This is based on a minister’s salary (WNT-2). However, the WNT-1 norm of 130% of a minister’s salary still applies to temporarily hired top officials working more than 6 months in an 18-month period. This norm is now being tightened up.

Once the new rules come into force, the monthly salary of temporarily hired top officials will be limited to €24,000 for the first six months in a position, falling to €18,000 for the next six months. The maximum hourly rate will be fixed at €175. Moreover, after the first year temporarily hired top officials will fall under the same WNT norm as other top officials in the public and semi-public sector, i.e. a maximum of €178,000.

Having a different norm for temporarily hired top officials than for officials on permanent contracts reflects the situation in practice, namely that intensive short-term appointments are more demanding. A temporary appointment also involves other additional costs, such as administrative expenses.

Curbing the pay of top officials hired on temporary contracts fits in with public and semi-public sector policy of preventing excessive salaries.

The cabinet has agreed to submit the draft legislation to the Council of State for an advisory opinion, with a view to its entry into force on 1 January 2016.