Following the dismissal of 1,324 workers in 20 banks in the affected regions, the most disadvantaged among them should receive EU aid worth €1,192,500 to help find new jobs.
It is the first time that funds from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) would be made available to workers made redundant in the financial services sector, according to the European Commission. The beneficiaries are the 450 most disadvantaged workers, not the banks.
The majority of the workers who lost their jobs are women (59%) with low or average education levels, such as administrative personnel and receptionists. 27% of the redundant workers are over 55 years old, says the draft report by MEP Ivana Maletić (EPP, HR).
According to the application, the redundancies are linked to the global financial and economic crisis and its impact on the services and functioning of the Dutch banks. Banks had to reduce their staff, mainly by closing regional branch offices (50% of the branch offices disappeared in 2004-2014) and transforming towards online banking.
Unemployment in all the three regions where the redundancies occurred is higher than the 5.4% national average (in Friesland it is 10.8 %, in Drenthe 7% and in Overijssel 6.3%).
The draft report by Ivana Maletić, recommending that Parliament approve the aid, was passed by the Budgets Committee on Tuesday by 26 votes to 3 against, with no abstentions.
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. Its annual ceiling is €150 million.
To take effect, the aid has to be approved by a plenary vote in Parliament, scheduled for 3 October, and by the Council.