Dutch union calls for standard 30-hour workweek in the Netherlands

Dutch union calls for standard 30-hour workweek in the Netherlands

While it may be standard for many people in the Netherlands to work part-time, the Christian National Trade Union (CNV) is calling for a standard 30-hour workweek to be introduced as soon as possible. 

Standardising the four-day work week in the Netherlands

The standard Dutch work contract is 38 hours, but can range from 36 to 40 hours a week. However, around three-quarters of people in the Netherlands choose to work part-time - anything from 12 to 36 hours a week - and there is increasing debate about the efficacy of implementing a standard four-day workweek in order to improve productivity as well as work-life balance. 

While jobs in the Netherlands already tend to be more lenient about working part-time, the CNV would like to see the Dutch government implement a 30-hour workweek as soon as possible, with the aim that cutting hours while maintaining current salaries would improve overall mental health and reduce cases of burnout amongst employees. 

Improved productivity and work-life balance when working part-time 

“Hundreds of thousands of people are completely worn out,” says CNV director Piet Fortuin. “High time for a new balance...Several trials show that people are happier, more efficient and more productive, and the work-life balance improves greatly.”

A recent poll conducted by the CNV found that the majority of union members would like to see a shorter workweek become the norm. Three in five felt that working fewer hours would leave them healthier and happier, while two-thirds said working fewer hours would reduce cases of absenteeism and sick leave. Furthermore, almost 75 percent thought a four-day week would improve work-life balance, and half of respondents said they expect they’d be more productive and efficient working only 30 hours a week.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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