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Monitoring Job Search Effort Scheme

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
Since the introduction of a new monitoring job search effort scheme in 2004 (and the reform in 2012) the receipt of unemployment benefits is more closely linked to active job seeking. Job seekers are closely monitored in their job search and have to proof they are actively searching for work. / / The programme starts with a notification letter, sent to the jobseeker, to remind him/her that she must be actively seeking employment. Afterwards, a series of interviews follow, where past job search effort is evaluated on the basis of proof delivered by the jobseeker. If a jobseekers gets a negative evaluation, and action plan is prepared outlining the next steps to be taken. / / Sanctions may apply to unemployed if their efforts seem to be insufficient or in case of non-compliance. This can include temporary reduction, suspension or permanent cessation of benefit payments. / / The 2013 reform reformed and intensified the follow-up of jobseekers: / - Older unemployed will become subject to the same benefit rules and job search requirements as other unemployed: while before 2013, only jobseekers below 50 years were followed up, now also unemployed aged between 50 and 55 (58 as of 2016) will be monitored in their job search and availability. / - Increase in the frequency of evaluation interviews for younger unemployed: control on job search efforts of young unemployed during the professional integration period after six months with the possibility of temporary suspension in benefits. (see fiche reform of the waiting allowance) / / Until the state reform, the National Employment Office took up the task of periodically interviewing unemployed to evaluate their active search efforts. This responsibility, along with the competence of imposing sanctions, will devolve towards the regional PES. / /
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
    Type of Policy
    • public
    Duration of the policy
    The monitoring job search effort scheme is gradually implemented in 2004 starting with younger age cohorts.
    Scope of innovation
    • Scope: structural
    • Spatial coverage: national
    General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
    Provide work incentives for unemployed by imposing job search requirements
    Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
    • encompassing security
    Type of innovation
    • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
    New outputs
    • benefit duration
    • benefit eligibility
    • benefit level
    Intended target group
    (Long-term) unemployed
    Working age population
    • employment situation (unemployed)
    Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
    • central state (National Employment Agency (RVA) is responsible for monitoring the progress of unemployed individuals and assessing their efforts to find employment.)
    Intended output
    • benefit duration
    Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
    Studies show that the monitoring program significantly stimulates transition to work and is cost effective1 /2.
    Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
    1. Cockx, B. and M. Dejemeppe (2012). ?Monitoring job search effort: an evaluation based on a regression discontinuity design?, Labour Economics, 19(5), 729-737. / / 2. Cockx, B., M. Dejemeppe and B. Van der Linden (2011). Evaluation de l?activation du comportement de recherche d?emploi, Academia Press, Gent. / /
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