On Tuesday the Dutch Senate voted in a legislative amendment which states that all immigrants to the Netherlands must sign a pledge to uphold and support Dutch values as part of their integration exam. This amendment to the Integration Law will take effect on October 1st, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced.
Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher calls workplace discrimination against pregnant women completely unacceptable, in response to the pregnancy discrimination hotline receiving over 550 complaints in just two weeks.
For the first time in years the number of kids attending childcare institutions in the Netherlands is increasing. But childcare institutions themselves are still worried. They fear that a new law with stricter requirements will lead to a new wave of bankruptcies, Saskia Speelman of the interest group for the childcare sector said to AD.
Last year the government paid childcare allowance for 823 thousand kids, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Thursday. That is a massive increase compared to the 764 thousand kids who attended childcare in 2015.
Highly educated young people with an immigrant background in the Netherlands are just as upbeat about their future in the country as their native Dutch counterparts, according to a study done by Knowledge Platform Integration & Society on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Their future plans are much more dependent on their parents' education level than where there parents came from, the Volkskrant reports.
Unemployment in the Netherlands dropped by an average of 6 thousand people per month during the first three months of this year, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands. In March a total of 463 thousand people in the Netherlands were unemployed, 5.1 percent of the working population. In March last year, there were 574 thousand unemployed.
The number of people with paid work increased by an average of 14 thousand per month over the past three months. At the end of March benefits agency UWV was paying 415 thousand unemployment benefits, a decrease of 0.3 percent.
The Dutch municipalities of Leiden, The Hague, Deventer, Groningen and Breda are all establishing a Children's Council in which the aldermen of these cities will actively work with the recommendations of kids. Princess Laurentien of the Missing Chapter Foundation and State Secretary Jetta Klijnsma of Social Affairs will kick off the test run for the Children's Councils on Tuesday, ANP reports.
There were indications that the Turkish Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya's security guards were carrying weapons during disturbances at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam last month, the Dutch government wrote to parliament on Monday. The police therefore considered the guards "armed and dangerous". No weapons were found after they were arrested, AD reports.
An increasing number of Dutch kids are attending daycare, according to a report by the Tax Authorities and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. This has to do with the economic recovery and higher childcare allowance, but the fact that more and more mothers go back to work also play a role, RTL Nieuws reports.
Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher called on Turkey to retract its accusations of Nazism and fascism against the Netherlands. If the country does not do so, the relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey will remain difficult, Asscher said, according to RTL Nieuws.
Asscher added that the Dutch government will not take any measures against the Ankara government, even if they refuse to retract the statements. According to him, it is important that calm returns. But "a different form of communication must come from Turkey", he said.
The Dutch government should reinstate regular meetings with consultative bodies for ethnic minority groups, according to a study by Van de Bunt advisers on behalf of Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs. Abolishing these meetings led to the fast decline of the dense network of representative members of ethnic communities and means that the government is less sufficient in reacting to rising social tensions, the report concludes, according to the Volkskrant.
The VVD wants more stringent integration requirements in the Netherlands including a total ban on face covering clothing, like burkas and balaclavas, in public. Wearing face covering clothing makes it more difficult for you to openly meet and greet each other, VVD parliamentarian Malik Azmani emphasizes in a broad integration agenda the ruling party is presenting on Thursday, Het Parool reports.
Over this weekend union FNV received complaints from hundreds of employees and former employees of the 16 Primark branches in the Netherlands. The union launched an investigation into the working conditions at the clothing chain after workers in Groningen complained last week about intimidation, heavy workloads, ignored health complaints and being watched in staff areas, AD reports.
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, united under G4, want to take back control over the integration process. The four large Dutch cities believe that customization is needed for integration to go smoothly, and that is impossible while the process is in the control of the national government, ANP reports.
Since a law was passed in 2013 making integration the responsibility of immigrants themselves, only a third of immigrants passed the naturalization exam in time, according to a report by the Netherlands General Court of Audit. The exam is also taken at a lower level than before the law, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch government wants more and better organized aid for the about 66 thousand young people in the Netherlands who are unqualified and unemployed. Ministers Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment and Jet Bussemaker of Education therefore instructed benefits agency UWV, social services and municipalities to team up for a joint approach to helping this vulnerable group, the Volkskrant reports.
The increasing retirement age in the Netherlands will eventually cause problems because many Dutch are not physically able to work after the age of 65, the Dutch association for occupational medicine NVAB said to newspaper AD on Tuesday.
Mayor Jan van Zanen of Utrecht and Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs are very concerned about developments around the alFitrah mosque in Overvecht. Asscher, also the Deputy Prime Minister, is calling on parents to keep their kids away from the mosque, DUIC reports.
Unemployment in the Netherlands continued its slight decline in November and for the first time since 2012 the number of unemployed in the country dropped below 500 thousand, Statistics Netherlands said on Thursday.
Last month there were 499 thousand unemployed people in the Netherlands, compared to 502 thousand in October. The unemployment rate remained stable at 5.6 percent of the workforce. Between September and November, the number of unemployed fell by an average of 7 thousand per month.
The Dutch hotline for internet discrimination MiND is facing heat after one of its employees suggested that hate speech against LGBT people is allowed as long as it is in the name of faith. Titus Visser, director of NL Confidential to which MiND belongs, apologized for this "error in judgement", the Volkskrant reports.
The government announced a financial windfall of 4.3 billion euros on Friday. According to Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the money came from Dutch citizens paying more corporation tax, income tax and VAT than expected due to the improving economy. And the sale of 65 million ABN Amro shares, which brought in 1.3 billion euros, NOS reports.
The Dutch government is making it easier for employers to hire people with disabilities. On Friday benefits agency UWV launched an online system that puts employers in contact with disabled people looking for work, State Secretary Jetta Klijnsma of Social Affairs and Employment announced, Trouw reports.
Asylum seekers who have a good chance of getting refugee status in the Netherlands, will from now on start language lessons almost immediately. Syrian- and Eritrean asylum seekers in particular will benefit from this new policy, PvdA Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs announced, the Telegraaf reports.
Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment is calling on business leaders and employers to deal better with their employees work stress and help prevent burnouts. He is making 13 million euros in subsidies available to help them do so, the Minister announced at the start of Week of Work Stress in The Hague on Monday.
If Diederik Samsom is again elected leader of the PvdA, then the party will have no signficant role in the forming of the new cabinet, Deputy Prime Minister and PvdA leader candidate Lodewijk Asscher said during the first PvdA leader debate in The Hague on Monday. According to him, should leadership of the PvdA not change, PVV leader Geert Wilders and VVD leader Mark RUtte will call the shots, NU.nl reports.