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Age discrimination: Spotlight on The Netherlands

by on November 20, 2015

We look at age at work issues in a range of countries as we pick up items in our alerts that are of interest. Today’s spotlight is on The Netherlands, thanks to this item in the Equal Times, an English language global news and opinion website that covers work, politics, the economy, human rights and the environment.

Under the heading ‘Washed up at 50’, the article focuses on the human cost of tens of thousands of workers in The Netherlands who have found themselves laid off as a result of the financial crisis and ‘forced into claiming social benefits and subsequent poverty’. It seems that whilst unemployment is going down for certain groups like young people, employment is still rising for the over-45s. This is attributed to employers preferring to hire younger (cheaper) workers. The journalist says they found no shortage of older people to interview who felt they had suffered age discrimination and a number of their personal stories are included to illustrate the difficulties they face, particularly with no access to pension benefits till they are 67.

Readers in the UK will recognise some of the points raised in the article, including how some unemployed older workers have been told to doctor their CVs to downplay previous managerial experience on the grounds that this will make finding a job easier, and the political discourse that stigmatises (or worse) those who find themselves claiming unemployment benefits.

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