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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Work Bonus

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
The Work bonus aims at reducing the tax wedge between wage costs and net wages of low wage earners through a reduction in employees? social security contributions (social work bonus) and through a personal income tax credit (fiscal work bonus). The work bonus ensures that these workers with low wages still receive a net income that is higher than what they would get when unemployed without increasing the gross wage.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Since 2000 a system of reduction of employee contributions was in place which aimed at ensuring a higher net wage for low-paid employees without increasing the gross wage. From 2005 onwards this policy measure continued under the name (social) ?Work Bonus?. In 2011, this measure was complemented with the fiscal work bonus. The work bonus has been reformed several times in order to better combat unemployment traps. The policy is still ongoing.
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Budgets: Year Budget spent each year /2009 688,5 *2010 704,8 *2011 737,0 *2012 717.3 /Source:
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The Work Bonus aims at enhancing labour supply by reducing unemployment and inactivity traps. The bonus tries to ensure that jobs are sufficiently financially attractive to people who are on benefits by reducing fiscal pressure and improving their purchasing power
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • encompassing security
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • subsidies/tax-credits
  • wages (higher net wages )
Intended target group
The ?Work Bonus? aimed initially at the lowest income groups.
Working age population
  • 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 (Belgian National Social Security Office )
Intended output
  • subsidies/tax-credits
  • wages
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
According to a study the work bonus seems to succeed in reducing inactivity and employment traps.
Intended and unintended outcomes
outcome quantification (proportion of target group): / / Around 1 million beneficiaries are benefitting from the ?Work Bonus?. / / /
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