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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Supplementary means-tested benefits for working poor families with children.

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
Offering financial support to low-income families, guaranteeing a minimum living wage, the main aim is to encourage their labour market participation and avoid them to rely on social assistance. / Main eligibility criteria: 1. Unable to cover vital needs through working salary 2. Living in the same household with children under a certain age (Geneva: under 18 years or 25 if in education; Solothurn: under 6 years; Vaud: for children 0-6 years the living cost of the whole family is granted, for children 6-16 only the living costs of the child is granted) 3. Living in the Canton since: 5 years (Geneva); 2 years (Solothurn); 3 years (Vaud). / The entitled families have also right to health insurance subsidy and reimbursement of care expenses for children (Geneva: under 13 years plus a scholar support for children under 16 years; Solothurn: under 6 years, maximum 6000 CHF ? 4?936,24 Euros - per year and child; Lausanne: maximum 10?000 CHF ? 8?227,07 Euros - per year in total).
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • social
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Started: Geneva: in force since 1st November 2012. Solothurn: in force since 1st of January 2010, limited to the end of 2014 (may be extended depending on the evaluation of the 5 years). Vaud: in force since 1st of October 2011.
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Budgets: Geneva: maximum 70?200 CHF ? 57?754,01 Euros - per household per year. In 2011, the estimated net cost of the project was about 20 million francs ? 16,5 million Euros -for 1?700 families (more than 3000 families in Geneva are not able to make ends meet through their jobs)
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: Geneva: around 1?700 families, 6000 people in total. Solothurn and Vaud: unknown
  • Spatial coverage: Cantonal
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The objective is to relieve social assistance and reduce poverty of working-poor families encouraging them to stay in employment (?make work pay?) supporting them with a salary complement, care expenses support and health insurance subsidy.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
Lifting working-poor families out of poverty, keeping them in employment and relieving social assistance. programmatic perspective
Type of innovation
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • subsidies/tax-credits (Complement working-poor families? salaries in order to attain a minimum living standard.)
Intended target group
Working-poor families
Working age population
  • care responsibilities (care for children [0-16/16+], for elderly or other family members) (care for children ( Geneva: 0-18 or 25 if in education; Solothurn: 0-6 years; Vaud: 0-16))
  • income level (low/medium/high) (low)
  • main source of income: paid work
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (Geneva: cantonal supplemental benefits office; Vaud: cantonal compensation fund office, Solothurn: AHV branch office.)
  • regional government
Intended output
  • subsidies/tax-credits (: increased earnings for working-poor families, allowing them dignified living, increasing their purchasing power, keeping them in work and off social assistance. )
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
expected outcome, but too early to assess the concrete impact
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
As the measure is targeted towards low income families, it is likely that it mainly affects low-skilled.
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