Politicians from the House of Representatives, but also aldermen and councilors, for example, are entitled to redundancy pay when their position is terminated. Regular employees are entitled to unemployment benefits under certain conditions, but they do not receive this when they quit their job themselves. Politicians have a good salary. MPs receive approximately 7,000 gross per month. Ministers are even better off and receive approximately 140,000 annually. It is a large amount, but in the business world they appear to be able to earn even better. In addition to a good salary, a position as a minister is also a useful addition to their CV. When aldermen, mayors or MPs, for example, lose their jobs, they can rely on the redundancy pay scheme. It does not matter how long they have worked and what their employment history looks like (as does play a role in the unemployment benefit). The scheme has been somewhat simplified in recent years. If they resign within three months of appointment, they will receive a maximum of six months redundancy pay.
How much redundancy pay do politicians get?
They receive 80 percent of the salary in the first year, and 70 percent in the remaining years. Politicians who accept another job are entitled to supplementation from the redundancy pay scheme. Employees in the business community are also entitled to 70 percent of the last earned wage, but employees with higher incomes do not receive more than the maximum daily wage. When providing redundancy pay, it does not matter whether they have resigned themselves or whether they have been told to take redundancy.
The arrangement in itself is unreasonable, but situations may also arise that make the arrangement so distorted that it should actually be punishable. Politicians are entitled to a maximum of six years’ redundancy pay. In the past, there have been cases of politicians who were appointed as members of parliament for a very short period (a few days) and were entitled to years of redundancy pay. This is no longer the case, but unreasonableness still occurs. An alderman from The Hague becomes Mayor in Delft. This switch did mean that he would earn less. He now receives redundancy pay to make up the difference. A normal employee is not entitled to compensation when switching to a job with less income. The man himself chose to accept another job. A Dutch municipality recently decided to save on costs. The current councilors would work part-time and an additional part-time councilor was hired. However, the councilors who have started working less will still be supplemented by the waiting time scheme in the coming years. This is a saving that will cost several hundred thousand euros in the first few years.
Unnecessary costs for society or a necessary right
There is increasing attention in the media for redundancy pay. Normal employees are faced with a reduction in the schemes, and the differences with politicians are increasing. Politicians will sooner find themselves in a position where their jobs will be lost. For example, they cannot be re-elected. They generally do not have the option to stay in their current job until retirement. However, further reduction of the redundancy pay scheme seems inevitable. See also: How much redundancy pay do politicians get?