Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 18:41
Cleaning agency scraps youth minimum wage
Cleaning company DJM Bedrijfdiensten from Deventer is removing the youth minimum wage, reports NOS. From summer onwards, employees under 21 will receive a full salary. The company is the first to set up the example in the industry. The company calls it morally irresponsible that a younger worker receives less for doing the same job. “Of course it makes sense that a dishwasher receives less than a cook,” operations director Stanley ter Wal is quoted saying. “But when it comes to equal work – as it is often the case in our company – then it is wrong that people are rewarded differently.” Workers in the Netherlands qualify for different minimum wages depending on their age. An 18-year-old working full time can receive as little as 683 euro, while a 21-year-old doing the same work will earn no less than 1,089 euro. That is still over 400 euro less than the minimum wage paid to a 23-year-old. “The argument that young people are less productive or that they need more guidance is outdated," he said, referring to the perspective that younger people require more training. "They are actually very flexible, bring in a breath of fresh air and are seldom sick. They deserve a decent reward,” he added. As a result, several dozens of employees in the company will soon start receiving up to four euros per hour more. “[This is] a sharp increase given that in some sectors the wage is still below three euros per hour,” ter Wal commented. Youth wage is currently a topic of broad public discussion. Two weeks ago, a 19-year-old worker received much publicity after he compared his salary to that of Ahold CEO Dick Boer. “The economic crisis made it difficult to adjust [the youth minimum wage]. Now there is more space and given the publicity of the issue, it is back on the table,” said ter Wal.