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Individual re-integration agreement

Country of implementation
The Netherlands
General short description of the innovation
This innovation gives unemployed on unemployment or disability benefits the possibility to choose the re-integration company that supports them to find work
Target group
Policy Field
  • employment
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Since 2004, since 2012 unemployed on ue-benefits can no longer use this facility
Scope of innovation
  • Budgets: average cost of an agreement was ?4430,- in 2008
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
This innovation gives unemployed a bigger choice with regards to the services they use to find work. In the standard procedure the unemployment agency (UWV) chooses a company to re-integrate unemployed. With the IRO the unemployed can choose the company for him or herself, although a number of restrictions apply. UWV determines which companies are allowed to offer IRO-services. The maximum allowed budget is ?5000,- The IRO is based upon a no cure less pay principle: when the unemployed person does not find a job only 50% of the costs is reimbursed.
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
the IRO was available for all unemployed, since 2012 only for unemployed on disability benefits
Type of innovation
  • new form of policy implementation/delivery
New outputs
  • governance
  • others (The innovation gives unemployed a bigger say in the choice of re-integration services)
Intended target group
Unemployed on UE-benefits (until 2012) or disability benefits
Working age population
  • main source of income: social protection (UE-benefits or disability benefits)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (UWV social insurance company finances the services, judges the plans and determines which companies can offer services)
  • beneficiaries/users (Benefit recipients can determine whether they want an IRO and which company they want to use)
  • central state (Regulation)
  • private for-profit organisations (commercial) (IRO is used to pay for re-integration services by private re-integration companies)
Intended output
  • governance (Benefit recipients using the IRO have a bigger say in determining the provider of re-integration services)
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
The placement rate of IRO is higher than the placement rate of services chosen by UWV, but the users have more favourable labour market chances as well. It is unsure whether the net effect is higher compared to the regular way of workingUEB-recipients find more sustainable jobs with IRO compared to the unemployed that find work using the services chosen by UWV
Intended and unintended outcomes
The placement rate of IRO lies round 50% of ended services, 1.2-1.4 times higher than the regular way (around 40%). For unemployed on disability benefits the results are better than for ueb-recipients. In 4 years (2004-2008) 90.000 people opted for an IRO, which became more popular than the regular way of working.
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
The innovation is considered to be successful given its popularity with users and the higher placement rates compared to services determined by UWV. The fact that unemployed have an active choice is considered to be the main explanation for success. The evaluation does note however that the users of this scheme are not the most vulnerable unemployed: they have a higher educational level, they are better motivated, they have more recent working experience and have a shorter unemployment spell (all compared to the users of regular services). The evaluation has only controlled partially for these characteristics, which means the net effect may actually be lower than the placement rates that have been presented. The scheme was terminated for UEB in 2012 following budget cuts: the government decided that unemployed on UEB are relatively better off than more vulnerable groups such as partially disabled and dedicated the remaining funds to these groups.
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