ING to give employees 1 month's paid paternity leave

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. ING building in Amsterdam Zuidoost (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Pieter Delicaat)

ING employees in the Netherlands will soon have the right to a month's paid paternity leave at the birth of a new child, according to the new collective bargaining agreement the bank made with unions FNV Finance, De Unie and CNV Vakmensen. This appointment also applies to non-biological mothers, NU.nl reports. 

In addition to the month's paid leave, new fathers and non-biological mothers can also take up to three months of unpaid leave to care for their new child. The bank and unions also agreed that the over 14 thousand ING workers will get a 1.7 percent salary increase in September.

The agreement also states that employees can have 1.5 days of paid leave annually for holidays they find important. Employees over the age of 60 years can do volunteer work one day a week without any detrimental effects on their income or pension fund. The bank will cover 375 euros per year on training for each employee, and this amount will double if the employee signs up for ING's training program.

Maarten van Beek, staff director at ING Nederland, called the agreement a "nice negotiation result", according to the newspaper. He said that the new collective agreement contains modern working conditions "that cover the different phases of employees from the first working day to the day they retire". "It is becoming increasingly important for employees to take control of their own career and to keep developing their professionalism, to be independent and to decide where to use their professional skills", he said. 

CNV negotiator Ike Wiersinga pointed out that the financial sector is still under pressure. "Many jobs disappear and unfortunately the end is probably not yet in sight. Therefore it is good that ING has been investing in training for years", the negotiator said, according to NU.nl. "With the individual learning account, which we strongly advocated for, employees get even more opportunities to take control themselves."

Union FNV is satisfied with the new collective agreement. "Given the circumstances, this is an acceptable wage increase", Gerard van Hees said. According to him, past years' wage increases only served to recover purchasing power. He is also positive about the opportunity for older workers to do volunteer work. According to him, this doesn't only help charities, but also creates another 80 jobs at the bank. 

The collective bargaining agreement takes affect on January 1st, 2018. 

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