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Netherlands — Concern about too generous unemployment benefits

08 January 2010

In his traditional New Year article published in 'Economisch Statistische Berichten' (ESB) the most senior civil servant at the Economic Affairs Ministry, Secretary General Chris Buijink, said that a reduction in the length of time income-related unemployment benefit is paid would be an important stimulus to find new work, particularly among older workers.

Unemployment benefit is currently paid for a maximum of 38 months depending on the length of the period during which the individual has worked. "Compared with other European Countries (EU), the unemployed in The Netherlands get unemployment benefit for a long time" Buijink said.

The Secretary General is concerned about older employees moving from unemployment benefit straight into their pensions. "Unemployment benefit is still an attractive way out for many older workers. While there have been improvements in the job take-up rate among older workers, just 26% of people aged between 60-64 [in The Netherlands] still have a job."



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