Trade unions and employers call for investment in care staff

Netherlands

Trade unions, including the FNV and NU’91, and employers in the care sector have made a joint approach to government to boost funding for the sector by €2.5 billion to address problems of low pay and understaffing. Problems of staff shortages are being felt right across the sector from care for the disabled, care for the elderly to mental health care and to University Medical Centres and hospitals. It is estimated that the current shortfall of 49,000 workers will rise to 117,000 in 2030. There are also major problems with staff turnover and high absenteeism. The ageing of the population will increase the demand for care and care intensity further and the unions and employers argue it is crucial to make the labour market more attractive for new and current care staff. They calculate that care sector salaries are on average 9% below market rates and this gap will not be closed without additional government funding.

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