Dutch companies cutting back on fringe benefits

According to research commissioned by the Financieele Dagblad, more than a third of business owners in the Netherlands have cut staff fringe benefits over the past three years.

Another 20 per cent of business owners are currently considering it, while eight per cent have already stopped providing any financial extras.

The types of benefits that are more likely to be cut are travel allowances, mobile phones and laptops.

A victim of the crisis

These results confirm a trend that has been apparent for some time: companies are cutting back on fringe benefits as a way of dealing with the economic crisis.

Almost three-quarters of those companies who have cut back did so because they found maintaining these sorts of payments are "too expensive."

A second reason given was that these conditions "are no longer of this time."

Around a third of companies that are considering cutting back benefits favour stopping paying for travel allowances and equipment like mobile phones, laptops and tablet.

Over 20 per cent of companies looking at cutting company cars, public transport allowances, the 13th month and profit distribution.

Less popular sources of savings are cuts to ATV (Arbeidstijdverkorting) days and holidays.

Only in some industries

Conditions in the Dutch working environment vary. Not all business owners give their employees fringe benefits: only 66 per cent of all business do. It is especially rare in small-to-medium business with less than 10 staff, where only 25 per cent of companies offering them.

It is also not so common in the retail sector, where more than half of companies (54 per cent) offer no extras.

This is the opposite in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, where fringe benefits are considered virtually standard with 92 per cent of companies offering them.

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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