A better life for young and old(er)

An innovative ‘generation pact’ in the new collective agreement between Dutch unions FNV and CNV and healthcare provider Fokus allows for working hours to be transferred from older to newer employees, while safeguarding pension rights.

Fokus provides care for people with disabilities, enabling them to live normally in their own homes. The 1-year agreement, which came into force on 1 January 2018, offers its 2,400 employees a wage increase of 2.8%.

In addition, the generation pact enables workers within four years of retirement to reduce their working hours by 20% with a reduction in pay of just 10%, while the company will maintain its pension contributions at the same level. The extra hours are shared out among newer staff. Workers over the age of 58 will also not have to carry out night shifts.

The agreement guarantees employees time off to take part in at least four trade union meetings a year during working hours and increases opportunities for carers’ leave.

Said co-negotiator Anja van Buren: “We are satisfied with the result. Firstly, there is a good salary increase and the lowest salary scales disappear. We have also managed to ensure that informal carers can receive paid leave – a relief in light of the difficult task that caregivers often face. And with the introduction of the generation pact, older employees can start working less and younger employees get a more beneficial contract.”

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