PostNL has signed an agreement that should see it recruiting a further 500 unemployed people as part-time mail delivery staff.
The agreement with social employment organisations Locus and Cedris extends last year’s deal that has already seen PostNL agreeing to hire 1,200 out-of-work people in new parcel sorting and distribution centres.
The arrangement sees the social employment organisation taking responsibility for recruiting, training and daily scheduling of its members, and supervision on the work floor – removing the administrative burden and risks for the postal operator.
The move is part of the Dutch postal service’s social policy. Locus is a public-private partnership initiative that aims to improve the employment chances of the long-term unemployed, while Cedris is an umbrella group of 90 social employment organisations.
PostNL has had workers on long-term secondment from social employment organisations for more than a year. It is now taking on long-term unemployed people in Eindhoven, Ede, Alkmaar and Groningen.
PostNL said the alliance with Locus and Cedris would bring specific knowledge and skills to the mail delivery network, covering certain municipalities within the Netherlands.
Herna Verhagen, the PostNL chief executive, said: “The labour processes at Mail and Parcels are very suitable for these jobs. It is our experience that these motivated employees are doing a great job as mail deliverers.
“To ensure successful employment of people distant from the labour market, the accompaniment of social employment organisations is crucial.”
The members of the Locus and Cedris groups will only be employed when PostNL has local vacancies available, the company said, and assuming that the organisations have suitable employees available.
PostNL said it would, in the mean time, continue to recruit part-time mail delivery staff in the conventional way. The company, which employs 66,000 people including its international operations, has been using part-time staff under its new delivery system in the Netherlands in order to add flexibility to its workforce and cut costs as mail volumes have decreased year-on-year.
From the social employment groups’ point of view, giving their members jobs in mail delivery offers them a first step back into the labour market.
Hanne Overbeek, managing director of Locus, said working in mail delivery was a “useful, independent and healthy job”, and that experience had shown that members of social employment organisations can develop to be mail carriers.
“For people on welfare working as part-time mail deliverer, this is an excellent first step on the labour market. Applying for a position from a job is easier than from a social security situation,” said Overbeek.
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