ABN AMRO’s branches in Sittard and Heerlen recently started welcoming their clients in a special way. Both branches employ slightly mentally disabled people who welcome clients to the bank and offer them coffee or tea. These ‘Warm Welcome’ employees perform other light office duties, like refilling paper in the copying machines and managing the supply room.
The bank’s Chairman, Gerrit Zalm, visited the Heerlen branch on 12 December to personally sign the employment contract of the second Warm Welcome employee. His presence emphasised how important ABN AMRO believes it is to actively support the objectives of the Participation Act and the ‘Social Agreement’ between the Dutch government, employers and trade unions. Under this agreement, the private sector will create 100,000 jobs for people with disabilities by 2026.
Gerrit Zalm: ‘We want to do our part to support the objectives of the Participation Act. We are always looking to create positions with real added value, and we offer people with different disabilities a chance. Clients love it, and our branch staff are also enthusiastic.’
ABN AMRO focuses its efforts on all people with a disability, going beyond what is required by law, which is geared to occupationally disabled people. The bank does not make any distinction among people with a disability. ABN AMRO intends to expand the number of Warm Welcome employees in the future.