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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Reform of sickness law for sick unemployed ('safetynet group')

Country of implementation
The Netherlands
General short description of the innovation
This reform is a reaction to the outcome of earlier sickness law reform which has shown that sick unemployed (who don?t have an employer and who receive public sickness benefits, called ?vangnetters? in Dutch, or 'safety netters') have a large chance to enter into disability benefits after two years of sickness benefits. The reform consists of a new system for calculating replacement rate of benefit (based on working history), stricter requirements for sick unemployed to accept work after one year of sickness, increased use of ?probational working places? for sick unemployed (which means employers can test suitability of workers without obligations to hire them) and premium differentiation for employers as an incentive to invest more in sickness prevention for their temporary workers.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Since 2014
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: Structural
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: Around 10% of the working population is expected to belong to the safety net group should they become long-term sick
  • Spatial coverage: National
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • benefit eligibility
  • benefit level
  • governance (Increased responsibility for employers with regards to sickness of their flex workers)
  • others (Probational working places for 6 months)
Intended target group
Working age population
  • main source of income: social protection (Public sickness benefits)
Employers-private institutional actors
All employers, but especially employers who make use of flexible workforce
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (Judgement of sickness, implementation of the public part of the new law)
  • central state (Regulation)
  • employers (organised or individual) (Responsible for active prevention of sickness and payment of costs related to sickness of flexible workers)
  • private for-profit organisations (commercial) (Insurance and re-integration companies: implementation of the private part of the new law)
Intended output
    Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
    The law has been enacted in 2014, data on outcome is not yet available.
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