Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure NL-2020-40/1363 – Updated – measures in Netherlands
|Country||Netherlands , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 October 2020 – 01 October 2021|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Measures to prevent social hardship
– Preventing over-indebtedness
|Author||Amber van der Graaf (Panteia) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||30 October 2020 (updated 08 June 2022)|
As of 1 October 2020, the Dutch government presented a third emergency package to address the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. This third package is based along three key thematic goals: continuing current support measures for enterprises and workers, stimulating investment where this is possible, and supporting adjustment to sectors and work where this is necessary. The third emergency package outlines a series of policy plans and initiatives which will be taken between October 2020 and 2022, taking a more long-term perspective.
As part of this second and third thematic goals, one of the plans presented is to develop and implement at National Social Package to supplement the existing measures for entrepreneurs, enterprises, workers, and sectors. The aim of the National Social Package is to provide longer term employment options and prospects to employers, workers, and entrepreneurs by capitalising on the new economic reality where possible. This National Social Package has four main areas:
This case describes the governmental support allocated to preventing poverty and problematic levels of household debt.
The National Social Package involves multiple measures and plans which have yet to be implemented. As it stands, the government reserves €1.4 billion for a series of actions and investments. Of this overall support allocated to the National Social Package, €150 million will be allocated to this area. The rationale here is that poverty and problematic debts prevent individuals from fully participating in society. Individuals and household vulnerable to poverty are likely to be hit even worse by the COVID-19 crisis and face larger obstacles in finding employment. To help individuals the government aims to provide better and timelier support to individuals threatened with poverty. The government will also set up a Guarantee Fund to help households and individuals to get rid of their debts more quickly.
The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.
|30 August 2021||
The ending date of general support measures was set to 1 October 2021.
|01 July 2021||
The National Social Package was introduced on 28 August 2020 and the introductory letter already included the end date of 1 July 2021. This date has remained unchanged throughout the year.
This measure has not yet been implemented.
|Does not apply to workers||Does not apply to businesses||
Other groups of citizens
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Local / regional government
Public employment service
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies||Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
National and regional social partners were deeply involved in the design of the social package. Regional and local social partners, including local branches of the public employment service, municipal governments, educational institutes, sectoral education and training funds, and employer organisations will all be involved in helping job seekers to find work through retraining and job matching. Vulnerable groups will be supported through existing municipal and regional services and the same will apply to vulnerable youths who are looking for work.
The social partner views are very positive towards this social package. They were highly involved in the initiative for the plan and its necessity and through weekly consultations and involvement, were strongly involved in the development of the plan as well. Trade unions, employer organisations, other social partners for specific social groups and education and training institutes all agree on the urgent necessity of looking to the future and trying to maintain social welfare for as many people as possible. Individuals in or close to poverty face struggles across the board and prevention tends to work better than helping individuals move out of poverty. With this rationale in mind the Guarantee Fund has been set-up and extra prevention measures as well.
Eurofound (2020), National Social Package: prevention of poverty and problematic household debt, measure NL-2020-40/1363 (measures in Netherlands), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/NL-2020-40_1363.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.