Working in the Netherlands

Working in the Netherlands

Dutch Labour Law for Managers: What is the “Basic income” concept?

A basic income is an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement.
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Multiple surveys across many countries show an increasing support for the idea of providing every citizen with a monthly lump-sum allowance to ensure everyone can meet their basic subsistence needs. In France, the IFOP (a leading French national market research institute) has shown that this support goes beyond political orientation divisions. From the question: “Are you in favour of implementing a guaranteed basic income for all citizens which would replace most existing allowances?” came a positive answer, depending on the degree of support for one party or another, from 72% to 79% for left wing sympathizers and from 50% to 54% for right wing sympathizers.

The Finland experiment

Since the election in April of the Finnish pro-basic income coalition, the topic has given rise to renewed international interest. All started when the Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä announced the launch of a series of pilots, the most important being a “universal basic income” [1], in order to reform the social security system in response to the evolution of the labour market. This will also allow the evaluation of how to reinforce autonomy and incentives to work, as well as reducing bureaucracy and the complexity inherent in accessing social assistance.

The lead role in this project has been given to professor Olli Kangas (KELA) who has outlined the following schedule[2]: preparation phase from December 5th, 2015 to November 15th, 2016; two-year experimentation starting in 2017; evaluation in 2019.

Olli Kangas explained that the work group will evaluate at least four options:

  1. a “full basic income” (~800 €) replacing almost all basic and insurance-based benefits;
  2. a “partial basic income” (~550 €) replacing all basic benefits but leaving intact almost all insurance-based benefits;
  3. a negative income tax in which benefits would phase out as people earn more money;
  4. miscellaneous other approaches including a universal income and additional components.
Andre Beukes LLM

Andre Beukes LLM

André Beukes is an EU Management Consultant to international companies doing business in Europe. He provides clients with practical business support that makes a real difference doing business in the EU. “Put simply, I am here to help you meet your challenges. I believe in the importance of doing things correctly, meaning risks are reduced and problems are avoided.”

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