Health Care Workers in the Netherlands Feel the Pressure of Poor Working Conditions

Six out of 10 workers in The Netherlands within the health care sector report being afraid of not making it to retirement age because of working under growing pressure, according to a recent survey carried out by trade union Abvakabo FNV.
 
 
The union conducted research on 1,000 people employed in nursing homes for the elderly, residential homes for the physically and mentally disabled, hospitals and the home help sector. The findings show a 4.7 percent rate of absenteeism in the health sector which is much higher than the national average. Health care employees say their work is physically and mentally draining, with 28 percent claiming they cannot go on much longer under present conditions. [WCx]
 
 
Internet news Web site nu.nl reports the high rate of sick leave is also due to all the “pernickety rules” of middle management and the huge volume of paperwork. Many health care employees said their managers “drive them around the bend”.
 
 
Workers younger than 35 years old, particularly male employees, experience considerable emotional distress while caring for patients or clients, while women find the work physically challenging, according to the report.
 
 
Abvakabo FNV has called on health care institutions to evaluate the working conditions.
 
 
“We’re talking about physical and mental pressure,” says union representative Elise Merlijn. “An overwhelming majority of the workers doubt whether they could keep up this work until they reach retirement age. A third is considering quitting in the short term.”
 
 
Other research carried out recently in the health sector reveals that many older workers want to continue with the present work, but only if employers take age into account. Fourteen percent of health care workers are older than 55.
 
 
Last September, the FNV confederation of trade unions reached an accord with the government to increase the retirement age from 65 to 67. [WCx]
 
 
The proposed phased introduction of the new retirement legislation includes the retirement age being 66 by 2020, then the age would be 67 by 2025. This is now being reviewed in a current round of negotiations to reduce the budget deficit. The minority cabinet partners are considering implementing the new retirement legislation at an earlier date. 
 
 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 

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