Workplace Report July 2023

European news

Cleaners and mental health workers get extra

Unions representing two groups of workers in the Netherlands have succeeded in negotiating extra pay for their members, despite the fact that they are still covered by current agreements.

Around 100,000 workers in mental health will now get an extra 10%. This is made up of 5% in November 2023, a one-off payment worth 1% in August 2024, and a 4% increase in December 2024. These increases come on top of those set out in the original agreement signed in 2021. This provided for three annual increases, each worth 2%.

The current agreement for cleaners was also signed at the end of 2021 and after earlier increases it only provided for a 1.5% pay increase before the end of the agreement in July 2024. However, following union pressure, the employers have agreed to pay an extra 10.5% before the end of the current agreement. This is made up of a 3.5% increase in November 2023, a doubling to 3.0% of the 1.5% planned for April 2024, which is also brought forward to January 2024, and an additional 5.5% paid in June 2024. The unions have agreed that they will not expect a further increase in pay before January 2025.

The basis for these extra payments is the high level of inflation in the Netherlands, way above the around 2% figure current when the deals were signed.