The high-tech region of Eindhoven is growing fast, but not everyone benefits from its success. Employees struggle with debts and low literacy. Housing in the region is unaffordable. That is why companies, municipalities, and social organizations in the region are joining hands to help this group. One of the companies that have been doing this for years is the cleaning company CSU.
Eight years ago the company noticed high absenteeism. CSU investigated this. “We wanted to know the reason,” explains coordinator Karola Hooijer. “Research showed that financial worries among employees were one of the causes.”
The company started a telephone helpline, where employees could go with their financial worries. Depending on how serious the request for help is, the budget coach is called in. Such was the case with employee Daënne Boetsers.
Three brain infarcts
Circumstances made it difficult for her to make ends meet. In 2014, she lost everything due to a major fire, but her family life was not going well either. Her husband suffered three cerebral infarctions, was rejected and was at home ever since. As a result, she was suddenly the sole breadwinner in the family of three. “Not only do I have to provide the income, but my husband also needs help. For example, with shopping. That’s difficult.”
So the help of a budget coach came as a gift from heaven. “It was very nice to go through all the paperwork with a trusted person. That’s how I found out that I was entitled to 25 euros extra per month. Every little bit helps,” Daënne said.
Cleaning company CSU has also noticed that the approach is paying off. “When we started, about ten percent of the staff had their wages seized, now it’s three percent.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.