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Reduced social assistance benefits, to be compensated by integration supplements during participation in active labour market programmes

Country of implementation
Switzerland
General short description of the innovation
The innovation was introduced in 2005 as part of the revision of the guidelines of the Swiss Conference for Social Assistance (SKOS/CSIAS). The revision recommended to lower social assistance benefit levels and to compensate this reduction in benefit levels by financial supplements for participating in active labour market programmes. According to the SKOS/CSIAS guidelines, financial integration supplements can amount between 100 and 300 CHF/month ? between 82,27 and 246,81 Euros/month. / The guidelines issued by the CSIAS are not binding as such. However, most Cantons, which keep full responsibility for social assistance in Switzerland, have translated this recommendation into their legislation. The introduction of financial supplements rewarding individual efforts has transformed social assistance from a system oriented towards individual needs to a system rewarding individual integration efforts /
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
In force since 2005
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Budgets: unknown
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: unknown
  • Spatial coverage: national (implemented in most Cantons)
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The main objective was to reward activation efforts in social assistance, and make the passive receipt of social assistance financially less attractive.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
strong
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • liberalisation
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • benefit level (lowered benefit levels for those not in activation)
  • subsidies/tax-credits (new financial subsidies to social assistance beneficiaries participating in active labour market programmes)
Intended target group
Working age population
  • main source of income: social protection (social assistance)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • regional government
Clarification of the role of various actors
And the Swiss Conference for Social Assistance (SKOS/CSIAS) as the supra-regional association in charge of editing national guidelines for social assistance
Intended output
  • benefit level (lowered benefit levels for those not in activation)
  • subsidies/tax-credits (new financial subsidies to social assistance beneficiaries participating in active labour market programmes)
Intended and unintended outcomes
between 25 to 70 % of unemployed social assistance beneficiaries depending on the Cantons
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