Bijenkorf scraps reduced youth minimum wage

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Trade union FNV has reached a collective bargaining agreement with department store De Bijenkorf in which the store's young employees will be paid full adult wages instead of the reduced youth wage. “Young people will no longer be fobbed off with youth wage. An 18-year-old and a 23-year-old doing the same job are entitled to the same pay. Equal pay for equal work.” FNV manager Niels Suijker said.

More politicians and employers are recognizing that the youth wage system is indeed outdated. 21-year-old sales assistant Yorrick van der Ent hopes that other companies will follow the good example of the Bijenkorf, adding that he feels young adults will now get paid for their work rather than their age.

Suijker said on the union's site that if an employer shows a will to invest in its employees, the trade union would be willing to put certain issues to discussion.

Trade unions and De bijenkorf are in a co-creation process which should provide innovative methods for retail. FNV executive Wilma van Aken is proud of the constructive cooperation between her employer and the union in achieving this result.

The collective agreement covers 2,800 employees and runs from October 1, 2015 to July 1, 2017, with additional increases as of 1 February 2017 and 1 May 2017.