Over 60 pct. of Dutch employers have workers with debt problems

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A massive 62 percent of employers in the Netherlands have to deal with staff facing financial problems, according to a report by national budget information office Nibud. A worker with a full time job and a modal salary that has debt problems, could cost an employer up to 13 thousand euros per year, the report states, according to NU.nl.

The 13 thousand euros is based on, among other things, absenteeism, productivity loss and processing wage garnishment. On top of that, employers may be at risk of theft, fraud and the fact that people with money problems are more vulnerable to bribery and blackmail. 

The report also shows that a third of employers consider an employee's financial problems a reason not to extend a contract. Almost a fifth see it as a reason for dismissal.

Nibud suggests that employers could help their workers by offering "financial insight talks". This could also help employers learn about looming financial problems sooner. "We see that employers are only aware of financial problems at a late stage", Nibud director Gerjoke Wilmink said, according to the newspaper. "Usually only when there is a wage garnishment or when the employee asks for and advance."

Employers also worry that interfering with an employee's financial problems is a violation of privacy, Nibud noted. "Nibud understands that and also does not think the employers should take on the role of financial advisor themselves, but he or she must be able to call in aid in a timely manner."

Nibud surveyed 1,040 respondents for the report, titled Personnel with debt. The report will be presented on Tuesday at a symposium on money affairs. Queen Maxima will also launch a website to help employers recognize and identify financial problems and offer targeted assistance to their employees.