Saturday, February 09, 2008

OECD Report on Netherlands Includes Focus on Increasing Participation of Older Workers

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD), in issuing its "Economic survey of the Netherlands 2008" making assessments and recommendations on the main economic challenges faced by the Netherlands, has specifically focused, among other things, on the role of older workers in the Dutch economy. Although it finds that it has made a strong comeback, the economy is now facing labour shortages, related to the greying of the population and the continued weak labour market-participation of several groups.

OECD recommendations include the adoption of incentives to increase participation in the labour market, including at older ages, so as to widen the revenue basis and, to encourage older workers, strengthen job search requirements and continue making the tax-benefit system more work-friendly.

In his remarkes at a joint press conference held with the Minister of Economic affairs, OECD Secretary General Angel GurrĂ­a said:
To further increase participation of older workers, the government should move ahead with its planned reforms and make them more encompassing. Particularly, the new levy on pensioners who stopped working before the official retirement age could be implemented faster and not be applied only to higher income levels. In addition, measures should be taken to reduce the possibility of using the unemployment benefit system, in combination with generous severance payments, as a transition into early retirement.
Sources: OECD Executive Summary (January 31, 2008); NIS News Bulletin " OECD Urges Netherlands to be Tougher on Welfare Recipients" (February 1, 2008)

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