Social security and labour market

Paul Einerhand

What are we researching?

We study how and why social security and the labour market in the Netherlands have changed. Our research looks at policy, organisation, implementation, and what the changes have actually achieved. We compare our social security system and the labour market with systems in other countries, asking the question: what lessons can we learn from these comparisons?

Why are we doing this research?

Social security is crucial for nearly all citizens. If you become ill, unemployed or unable to work due to old age, we have facilities in the Netherlands to fall back on.

But how does the government ensure that the implementation of this policy is customer-friendly, without fraud becoming too easy? How do we ensure a dignified existence without losing the incentive to participate in the labour market? How do we prevent poverty and support people in a disadvantaged position without this being at the expense of regular employees?

We have not yet found optimal solutions to these questions. Therefore, social security systems are in constant movement, and there is a need for (social) entrepreneurship and innovation.

How are we doing this research?

We investigate these movements using different research methods: qualitative and quantitative, case studies of municipalities or implementing organisations, international comparative studies, vignettes and natural and field experiments.

How does our research make an impact?

Much of our research focuses on how the social security system can better support people participating in the labour market. 

An important example is the FIP method that we developed: helping people who have been on benefits for a long time utilizing Frequent, Intensive and Personal contact. Various municipalities in the Netherlands now use this method or have inspired their services by parts of this method. The method also received national attention in the amendment of the Participation Act by former State Secretary Van Ark. 

In addition, we advise governments on their role in changes in the field of social security. We do this both in the Netherlands and abroad. Like recently in an OECD context for the German state of Brandenburg.

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