Peter de WaardSeptember 29, 202217:54

    Those who are willing to work a full working week should be rewarded extra. That’s great news for the people who have a lot of freedom to organize their time themselves – say: the elite in administration, science and the media. They can quickly adapt a sleeve and earn 5 percent extra salary.

    It’s bad news for the people who run mandatory schedules and have to be on site in healthcare, education or the police. In short, the professions with the greatest shortages. They will be put under even greater pressure and will see the full-time bonus as a part-time fine.

    Very often plans are conceived in the ivory towers of The Hague that are launched like the egg of Columbus. A few years ago these were the basic income and the four-day working week. Apart from some experiments, nothing came of either.

    Now it’s the full-time bonus. This should encourage 4.5 million part-time workers to get out of the woods for once, so that staff shortages disappear like snow in the sun. Too much labor potential goes to swimming and tennis lessons with the children to socialize with other parents. Or they choose to keep their work-life balance in order with chardonnay ladies or curry gents.

    Unfortunately, working part-time is not a luxury for everyone. There are also many forced part-time workers, such as those who provide informal care or who cannot go to their parents or a crèche for childcare.

    The full-time bonus is an unfortunate plan that leads to more inequality, because higher incomes can bend much more easily. In that respect, the full-time bonus is no different from the infamous banker or driver bonuses.

    It is also discriminatory. The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights says that the full-time bonus makes a prohibited distinction on the basis of both working hours and gender. The latter is due to the fact that mainly women have part-time jobs.

    Furthermore, it is a helping hand to employers who are afraid that the tight labor market will put them on the defensive during collective bargaining and have to raise wages by 10 percent or more. They would rather see staff shortages addressed by turning back time to 1919 when the 48-hour workweek was introduced.

    The government should try to bring about a cultural change in order to encourage people to work full-time. Perhaps a PO Box 51 campaign could be devoted to it. But cultural changes cannot be realized quickly in a country where part-time working is just as common as the e-bike. Many young people with neither child nor crow decide to work four days after their studies, because the job is seen as a necessary evil and not as a destiny. If there is enough money, it is immediately ‘clocked out’.

    If they get an incentive from a full-time bonus, they will take it and immediately decide on a quiet quitting after seven instead of eight months.

    A safari through Uganda is the real reward.