Conditions for receipt of unemployment benefits and other forms of insurance in the Netherlands
The European Committee of Social Rights reviewed the report of the Dutch government on the levels of social security in The Netherlands and noted that the Unemployment Benefit Act (WW) comprises a short-term benefit (conditions for payment 26 weeks of paid employment during the last 39 weeks), and a salary-related benefit (conditions for payment 26 weeks of paid employment for 52 days or more in four of the last five years). The short-term benefit amounts to 70% of the minimum wage and lasts 6 months. The salary-related benefit is 70% of the last salary with maximum daily earnings of € 167 and its duration depends on the insured’s employment record, with a minimum of six months for four year employment and a maximum of five years for 40 years employment. Additional conditions for receiving unemployment benefit are: being registered with the employment office; being available for work; not having refused suitable employment. The Committee asked what “suitable” employment means and requests information on whether there is an initial period where jobseekers may refuse to take up an offer of a job on the grounds that it does not meet his/her occupational requirements or experience without risking losing his/her unemployment benefits.
This case is significant because there was no work accident and occupational diseases insurance scheme in the Netherlands since these risks are covered by sickness, invalidity, and survivors’ insurance. The Committee recalled that the scope and level of family benefits are assessed under Article 16. The Committee concludes that the situation in the Netherlands was not in conformity with Article 12(1) of the Charter on the grounds that the information provided by the Government did not allow the Committee to assess that the right to sickness and invalidity benefits is effectively secured as a social security right for all workers.