Deputy PM calls out ING for temp worker layoffs

Companies are trying to avoid the new dismissal rules taking effect in the Netherlands on July 1st by prematurely dismissing temporary workers on a large scale, Volkskrant reports based on emails and documents seen by the newspaper. Companies are dismissing temp workers to avoid having to pay the statutory severance pay from July.

In an internal memo ING Netherlands writes that the use of temporary workers who are eligible for a permanent contract "is no longer desirable, as it entails labor risks." The memo, which was sent to the ING managers, also states that the temporary workers must be "carefully and personally" informed about the end of their "time".

Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment is furious. "I haven't seen the ING internal note, but if this is true, I find it outrageous. What is the moral of a bank that defends a salary increase for its executives that runs into the millions, while at the same time wanting to keep security from the most vulnerable workers?" he said. "ING now has the opportunity and obligation to prove that it is a financial institution that stands in the middle of society. With respect for all employees and to the letter and spirit of the law."

An ING spokesperson told the Volkskrant that they are working carefully. "The flexibility increases and with it we are striving for equal treatment of both the fixed and flexible workforce. That also means that we as an organization can choose how we deal with temps in the different phases."