Prof. Houweling and Prof. van der Veen published a report on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment's policy objectives

The final report of the policy review of Article 1 of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment's (SZW) budget was published on 6 November 2020. Prof. Ruben Houweling, Professor of Employment Law at Erasmus School of Law, and Prof. Romke van der Veen, Professor of Sociology of Labour and Organization at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, have examined the general objective of SZW for the labour market. Prof. Houweling and Prof. van der Veen were constructively critical of current policy.

The policy review of budget article 1 of the SZW budget, is intended to assess to what extent the Ministry's general objective for the labour market is being achieved and to what extent the policy of SZW contributes to this. The goal: "the government contributes to balanced employment relationships and terms of employment by setting frameworks and (where applicable) supervising compliance with those frameworks. The government promotes and stimulates an inclusive labour market and healthy and safe working conditions."

The main conclusion of Prof. Houweling and Prof. van der Veen is that it is almost impossible to judge to what extent these objectives have been achieved. Article 1 is a general objective, in which the goals are formulated unclear and unmeasurable. The efficiency and effectiveness of the policy cannot, therefore, be tested. However, this is not a new observation. Concerning the achievement of these goals (regardless of the policy), can be concluded that this is partly the case for a limited number of objectives.

Prof. Houweling and Prof. van der Veen have made recommendations to SZW to improve the policy review. For example, The government must rethink Article 1 of the budget's policy objectives, and it must draw up the goals more clearly and measurably. They also called for work to be done in the coming policy period on reducing the division in the labour market. Covid has only increased the difference between "haves" and "have-nots". The Minister and State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment have stated in a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) that they will adopt all recommendations.

More information

You can read the entire letter from Prof. Houweling and Prof. van der Veen to Minister Koolmees here (Dutch).
Click here for the letter from the Minister and State Secretary to the House of Representatives (Dutch).