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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Back-to-work bonus for older unemployed

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
The back to work bonus encourages older unemployed, older than 55 years, to take up work by offering them a monthly supplement, paid for by the National Employment Office in addition to the wage of the worker. / / If unemployed have less than 20 years of seniority, the supplement is degressive, and limited for a maximum of 3 years (temporary back-to-work bonus). When unemployed have more than 20 years of seniority, there are no time restrictions; the bonus is granted for as long as the worker works (permanent back-to work bonus). / /
Target group
Older Workers
Policy Field
    Type of Policy
    • public
    Duration of the policy
    The policy was initiated in 2002. Eligibility conditions (seniority and unemployment period) have been eased since then. Still ongoing.
    Scope of innovation
    • Budgets: Year Budget spent each year /2010 28.7 *2011 38.2 *2012 44.0 *2013 42.9 /Source:
    • Spatial coverage: national
    General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
    Raise labour market participation of elderly. The policy aims at encouraging older unemployed to take up work by making it more financially attractive for them to work (even at lower salary than prior to the unemployment period). / /
    Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
    • encompassing security
    Type of innovation
    • new policy, practice or measure
    New outputs
    • subsidies/tax-credits (back-to work bonus (of unlimited duration): 197.93? / month for as long the worker works, back-to-work bonus (of temporary duration): ?197,93 / month (1st year), ? 131,95 (2nd year), ? 65,98 (3rd year))
    Intended target group
    Older unemployed (55+) who receive unemployment benefits and start to work as an employee or as a self-employed. / /
    Working age population
    • employment situation (unemployed)
    • income level (low/medium/high) (no eligibility criteria for low incomes, but the measure is mainly aimed to support older unemployed, who risk falling in ?unemployment traps?)
    • main source of income: social protection (unemployment benefits)
    Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
    • beneficiaries/users
    • central state (National Employment Office (RVA))
    Intended output
    • subsidies/tax-credits
    Intended and unintended outcomes
    number of beneficiaries / Year Beneficiaries / 2010 13.060 / 2011 17.396 / 2012 20.116 / 2013 19.382 / Source: / / Figures show the back-to work bonus is primarily used in the Flemish region, in particular by unemployed older men. /
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