Salary trends and developments in the Netherlands –

Almost half of employees have no problem with open communication about their salary.

New legislation will come into force soon for European companies, which will require more openness about wages from the employer. This makes it easy for employees to compare salaries – and any pay gap becomes visible, too. European HR service provider SD Worx He conducted research among 16,000 employees in sixteen countries on the situation with regard to salary, transparency and selection.

Not freedom of choice but transparency
Four out of five Dutch people cannot put together their working conditions package. In addition, nearly half (46%) of European employees have no problem communicating openly and transparently about the content of their working conditions. A quarter would prefer to keep this information to themselves.

The wage gap is almost not reduced: a woman’s salary is 13.5 percent less
New figures released by the European statistics agency Eurostat earlier showed that Dutch women earn an average of 13.5% less than men. This difference is slightly larger than the EU average of 12.7 percent. In the Netherlands, the wage gap between men and women is shrinking, but the decline has eased somewhat in recent years. According to data from the Dutch Statistics Authority (CBS), we rarely see any difference between 2018 and 2020.

Dutch employers: less than average transparency
Half (50.3%) of European employers surveyed also appear to communicate openly and transparently about applicable wage policy and potential employment packages. Especially Polish and English companies (61%) have a transparent policy. The Netherlands is somewhat below this average at 48.5 percent. Twenty percent of European employers say they prefer to keep this information within four walls, with Norway (30 percent) scoring the highest.

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Looking at employees, nearly half (46%) of Europeans say they have no problem communicating openly with colleagues about their salary. Almost four in ten employees (38%) know what their direct colleague in a similar position earns. In Switzerland (43%) and Belgium (41%), employees are the least aware of other people’s salaries.

Holland is a leader in expense allowances, far behind company bikes
Offering various benefits packages is essential to motivate, retain and attract employees. While some employees need more days off, others prefer the extra financial rewards. More than one in five Dutch employees (21%) indicate that they have the option to bundle their benefits package within a certain budget. Ireland (44%), the UK (33%) and Poland (30%) score highest here.

The Dutch are more likely to receive an overhead allowance than all European countries surveyed. This is part of the employment conditions package for 53% of the employees surveyed, followed by the mobility budget (37%) and technical facilities (36%). The Netherlands scores as a significantly lower cycling country at nine percent (6th place) when it comes to getting a company bike, but we’re in first place when it comes to setting up a bike plan for employees (41%).

The most requested fringe benefits that European workers still want to add to their benefits package appear to be premiums, bonuses and commissions (79%). A third (34%) of employees actually claim to have this as a permanent part of their terms of employment package.

“A wide range of terms and conditions of employment is great, but it can get confusing at times. An employee benefit statement can help with this,” explains Mark Blum, director of SD Worx Netherlands. With this statement, employers don’t provide a detailed overview of their employment. Not only personal working conditions, but also the value of each component is clearly displayed. When employees know the true value of their group, this leads to greater appreciation and motivation. This also benefits loyalty between the employee and the employer.”

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Megan Vasquez

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